Navigation Links
Smoking Tied to Memory Loss in Middle Age
Date:6/9/2008

But experts say the findings don't account for overall health factors and intelligence

MONDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged smokers are more prone to memory problems than their non-smoking peers, a new French study suggests.

While smoking is a recognized health hazard, there has been some debate on its effect on dementia, the study authors said.

"Dementia is rare among middle-aged people, but cognitive function at this age in closely related to dementia," said lead researcher Severine Sabia, of the Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale in Villejuif, France. "Our results show that smoking is associated with poorer cognition and decline over five years.

"Another interesting finding," Sabia added, "was that ex-smokers improved their other health behaviors, and among them there was little residual adverse effect of smoking on cognition."

The findings are published in the June 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

For the study, the researchers collected data on 10,308 British civil servants who ranged in age from 35 to 55 and were enrolled in the Whitehall II study. Between 1985 and 1988 and again in 1997 and 1999, they were asked about their smoking habits. Nearly 5,400 people completed tests of memory, reasoning, vocabulary and verbal fluency in 1999. Five years later, 4,659 of the study participants were retested.

During the first round of cognitive testing, people who smoked ranked in the lowest 20 percent of all those examined, compared with people who had never smoked. But, people who were ex-smokers were 30 percent less likely to have poor vocabulary and low verbal frequency scores than current smokers.

"Smoking is associated with poorer cognitive function in midlife," Sabia said. "However, 10 years after smoking cessation, there is little adverse effect of smoking on cognition."

The study also found that ex-smokers had better overall health habits than smokers. They drank less alcohol, exercised more and ate more fruits and vegetables, the researchers found.

"With the ageing population and the projected increases in older adults with dementia, it is important to identify modifiable risk factors," Sabia said. "Our results suggest that smoking had an adverse effect on cognitive function. Thus, public health messages should target smokers at all ages."

But one expert said he wasn't convinced that the study had proven a connection between smoking and memory loss.

"There are two things that are a little concerning about the [study] results that would give us pause before definitely concluding that smoking leads to a decrease in memory," said Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor of social and behavioral sciences at Boston University.

First, the results for smoking as a cause of memory loss were only significant when other health factors weren't taken into account, Siegel noted. "That suggests that smoking is associated with other types of health behaviors that are affecting the outcome," he said. "When other health behaviors were included, it completely wiped out the effect of smoking."

And second, Spiegel said he wasn't sure why ex-smokers performed better on the memory tests. "The reason their memory is better is not because they smoked -- that's not plausible," he said.

Smoking may not be the reason for memory impairment, Siegel said. Rather it may be that people who never smoked or quit smoking have better overall health habits, may be better educated, and may have a higher level of cognitive functioning to begin with, he said.

Dr. Norman H. Edelman, scientific consultant to the American Lung Association, said: "This study is generally a confirmation of previous work. But there is a fundamental question: Are they stupid because they smoke or do they smoke because they are stupid?"

More information

For more on quitting smoking, visit the American Lung Association.



SOURCES: Severine Sabia, M.Sc., Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale, Villejuif, France; Michael Siegel, M.D., M.P.H., professor, social and behavioral sciences, Boston University; Norman H. Edelman, M.D., scientific consultant, American Lung Association, New York City, and professor, preventive medicine, internal medicine, physiology & biophysics, Stony Brook University, New York; June 9, 2008, Archives of Internal Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Genes May Play Role in Quitting Smoking
2. Report confirms increased risk of smoking, substance abuse in bipolar adolescents
3. Smoking during pregnancy increases risk of SIDS
4. Parents: Quit Smoking and Your Children Are Less Likely to Smoke
5. Mobile Phones: More Dangerous Than Smoking
6. Video: GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Offers Free Nicotine Lozenges for All Certified Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers to Help Them Safely Quit Smoking
7. Litigation Predicted in Wake of FAA Ban of Chantix Use by Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers: Smoking Cessation Drug Target of Controversy
8. Waterpipe Smoking in Colleges Could Become Public Health Problem
9. OHSU Cancer Institute researchers pinpoint how smoking causes cancer
10. Quit smoking message not getting air time in mental health care
11. Training Student Leaders Cuts Peers Smoking Rates
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of the Law Office ... of elder law and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ElderCounsel helps our office ... forum to network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. , ElderCounsel ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun Run brought out many kids ... sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is aimed at getting kids excited ... all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which is all about having fun ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “America On The Brink”: ... “America On The Brink” is the creation of published author, William Nowers. ... As a WWII veteran, he spent thirty years in the Navy. Following ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( ... today the introduction of an innovative new design of the shoulder pad. The ... get maximum comfort while controlling your pain while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Malvern, PA (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... is the recipient of a 2017 Folio Magazine Eddie Digital Award for ‘Best ... New York City on October 11, 2017. , The annual award competition recognizes editorial ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... DIEGO , Oct. 12, 2017 AVACEN ... recognized the company with their  2017 New Product Innovation Award ... based on extensive primary and secondary medical device market research ... Medical, through its first-to-market OTC, drug-free pain relief product, the ... unique approach to treating fibromyalgia widespread pain. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , Oct. 12, 2017 West Pharmaceutical ... innovative solutions for injectable drug administration, today announced that ... market opens on Thursday, October 26, 2017, and will ... and business expectations at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. To ... 253-336-8738 (International). The conference ID is 94093362. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... , Oct. 11, 2017  Caris Life Sciences ... on fulfilling the promise of precision medicine, today announced ... joined Caris, Precision Oncology Alliance™ (POA) as its 17 ... centers, the St. Jude Crosson Cancer Institute will help ... the use of tumor profiling, making cancer treatment more ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: