Study shows cigarette smoking can cause cognitive decline… but at what age?!
The study showed that cigarette smoking can lead to cognitive decline in a person in the fourth decade of life.
A study of 136,018 participants over the age of 45 by an Ohio State University (OSU) team found that 10 percent of middle-aged and older smokers began to experience memory loss and confusion. Overall, smokers are twice as likely to develop brain problems as their peers.
Ex-smokers who quit smoking more than a decade ago had a 50% increased risk of developing brain problems.
Cognitive problems in middle-aged people are rare, as in most cases the brain does not begin to lose function until the age of 65. Smoking has been linked to many serious health problems later in life, such as Alzheimer’s disease and cancer, among others. Women are also more likely to suffer from cognitive decline than men.
Smoking has long been associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline such as Alzheimer’s disease, but symptoms of these problems are rare in middle-aged people.
For their study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, researchers asked a sample of nearly 140,000 people about their smoking habits and whether they experienced memory loss during that time.
They found that eight percent of people who never smoked experienced cognitive decline.
Meanwhile, 16% of current smokers reported brain problems and memory loss. Many of these smokers were too young to deal with these problems.
The researchers noted that just under 10% of participants aged 45 to 49 reported brain problems when surveyed, and almost all of them were smokers.
The frequency of reporting cognitive problems was similar among respondents aged 50 years.
Differences in cognitive decline between smokers and non-smokers decrease significantly with age, although many people develop diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia at this point for various reasons.
“The association we observed was most significant in the 45-59 age group, suggesting that quitting smoking at this stage in life may be beneficial for cognitive health,” said Dr. Jeffrey Wing, senior author of the study and professor of epidemiology. in Ohio. State University.
Although quitting smoking can reverse some of the harm, about 12% of respondents who quit smoking more than a decade ago reported cognitive problems.
People who quit smoking within the past 10 years had a 13% risk of developing the disease, slightly higher than those who quit smoking for a long time.
The study only accepted examples of self-reported cognitive problems and did not collect any data on clinical diagnoses of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Signs of the devastating condition often appear decades before a patient is diagnosed, and it is rare for a doctor to tell a middle-aged person that they have the disease.
Source: Daily Mail