Published on 08/02/2012
A new study has shown that men who smoke suffer a faster cognitive decline than their non-smoking counterparts, suggesting that lighting up is bad for the brain.
Male smokers suffer faster cognitive decline
Researchers at University College London analysed data on 5,099 men and 2,137 women, all of whom participated in the Whitehall II study.
Participants were around 56 years of age at the start of the study, and underwent three cognitive assessments over a 10 year period. They also provided information on their smoking status over 25 years.
The researchers found that male smokers tended to show more rapid cognitive decline than non-smokers. Men who smoked throughout the follow-up period experienced a greater degree of cognitive decline at each of the assessments.
Whilst men who gave up smoking during the 10 years before the first cognitive test were still at risk, those who had given up a long time ago did not show faster cognitive decline.
However, a similar link was not revealed between smoking and mental decline in female smokers.
Writing in the archives of General Psychiatry Journal online, lead author Severine Sabia of University College London said: "While we were aware that smoking is a risk factor for lung diseases, cancer, and cardiovascular disease, this study shows also its detrimental effect on cognitive ageing. This detrimental effect is evident as soon as (age) 45."
"Intermittent smokers showed the same cognitive decline as persistent smokers, showing the importance of definitive smoking cessation."
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© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012Categories: Health