Dec. 22, 2022 — Researchers have found yet another reason why you shouldn’t smoke, and if you do, why you should quit.
People who smoke are more likely to report memory problems and cognitive decline in midlife, a study from Ohio State University found. Study results also noted that former smokers who have quit face less likelihood of cognitive decline.
The research matches the findings of previous studies that have linked smoking and dementia including Alzheimer’s disease. However, this latest study could also help raise red flags earlier in life, said the study’s lead author Jenna Rajczyk. The study was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Researchers used a one-question self-assessment and asked people if they’ve experienced problems such as growing memory loss or confusion. They examined data from more than 135,000 people over age 45 to compare subjective cognitive decline (SCD) for current smokers, people who quit recently, and people who quit long ago.
“The prevalence of SCD among smokers in the study was almost 1.9 times that of nonsmokers,” Neuroscience News reported. “The prevalence among those who had quit less than 10 years ago was 1.5 times that of nonsmokers. Those who quit more than a decade before the survey had an SCD prevalence just slightly above the nonsmoking group.”
SCD is a new and simple measure that could have broader applications, Rajczyk said. It does not amount to a diagnosis.
Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease: “Relation Between Smoking Status and Subjective Cognitive Decline in Middle Age and Older Adults: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of 2019 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Data.”
Neuroscience News: “Smoking May Increase Chances of Mid-Life Memory Loss and Confusion.”
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