Study: Smoking doubles the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia

October 27th, 2010 - 3:30 am ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

New York, Oct 26 (THAINDIAN NEWS) A new study has revealed that smoking heavily during midlife increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by more than 150%.

The new study that was published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine on Monday revealed that smoking during midlife also increases the risk of developing vascular dementia by 172 percent.

Researchers studied some 21,123 people between the period of 1978 to 1985. After that period, the participants were checked for Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia between the period of 1994 and 2008.

The research participants were selected from diverse races and the researchers made the final adjustments based on the various participant’s marital status, age, sex, diabetes, education, race, body mass index, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, heart disease, stroke, and alcohol use before coming out with the final results.

The principal investigator of the research, Rachel A. Whitmer, of Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif said that, “We know smoking compromises the vascular system by affecting blood pressure and elevates blood clotting factors, and we know vascular health plays a role in risk of Alzheimer’s disease”.

The scientists however admitted that they do not know for sure how smoking relates to Alzheimer’s diseases.

A co-author of the research, Minna Rusanen of University of Eastern Finland said that, “While we don’t know for sure, we think the mechanisms between smoking and Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia are complex, including possible deleterious effects to brain blood vessels as well as brain cells”.

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