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Passive smoking increases risk of severe dementia, according to study in China
Date:1/9/2013

ercent of the group had severe dementia syndromes. This was significantly related to exposure level and duration of passive smoking. The associations with severe syndromes were found in people who had never smoked and in former and current smokers.

The data from the Anhui cohort, which were collected at baseline in 2001-03 for dementia syndromes and in the follow up in 2007-08 for ETS exposure and dementia, further excluded the possibility that dementia syndromes caused people to be more exposed to environmental tobacco smoke.

Dr Ruoling Chen, also a visiting professor at Anhui Medical University said: 'Passive smoking should be considered an important risk factor for severe dementia syndromes, as this study in China shows. Avoiding exposure to ETS may reduce the risk of severe dementia syndromes.

'China, along with many other countries, now has a significantly ageing population, so dementia has a significant impact not only on the patients but on their families and carers. It's a huge burden on society.'

The findings from this study, together with a second recent study by Chen and colleagues published in Alzheimer's & Dementia on the links between passive smoking and Alzheimer's disease, strengthen the case for public health measures to protect people from exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.

'At present, we know that about 90 percent of the world's population live in countries without smoke-free public areas. More campaigns against tobacco exposure in the general population will help decrease the risk of severe dementia syndromes and reduce the dementia epidemic worldwide.'

He added: 'The increased risk of severe dementia syndromes in those exposed to passive smoking is similar to increased risk of coronary heart disease suggesting that urgent preventive measures should be taken, not just in China but many other countries.'


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Contact: Katherine Barnes
katherine.barnes@kcl.ac.uk
44-207-848-3076
King's College London
Source:Eurekalert

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