Chrome 2001
.
Aetna Intelihealth InteliHealth Aetna Intelihealth Aetna Intelihealth
 
.
. .

   Advertisement
Carepass Ad Carepass Ad .
Chrome 2001
Chrome 2001
InteliHealth
Ask the Doc
4464
Ask the Doc
Ask The Expert
Harvard Medical School
Image of a cadeusus
. .
General Medical Questions
.
Question : Does smoking increase the risk of dementia?
.
.
.
The Trusted Source
.
.
Howard LeWine, M.D.

Michael Craig Miller, M.D Michael Craig Miller, M.D., is Senior Editor of Mental Health Publishing at Harvard Health Publications. He is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Miller is in clinical practice at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where he has been on staff for more than 25 years.

.
.
May 29, 2013
.

Research suggests that smoking does increase the risk of developing Alzheimer disease and other types of dementia.

Large studies have looked at this question. Researchers have analyzed the medical records of thousands of patients. They have asked about health habits, including smoking. And they have reviewed measures such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and weight. Finally, they have looked at trends over many decades in these individuals.

What does this research suggest?

People who smoke more than two packs of cigarettes a day at midlife double their risk of developing dementia in old age when compared with nonsmokers.

People who stop smoking by midlife and those who smoke less than half a pack a day have a risk of dementia similar to that of people who had never smoked.

So we do know that smoking is a risk factor for dementia. But we don’t know exactly how tobacco use hurts the brain.  

The cause may be indirect. Smoking causes heart disease. And heart disease increases the risk of dementia.  

Smoking also can cause blood clots. When blood clots break off, they can travel to blood vessels in the brain. That blocks oxygen flow. Midlife smoking can thus cause small or large strokes.  

Apart from stroke, cigarette smoking also increases the risk of “vascular dementia.” This is when there is decreased blood flow to the brain. This is the second most common form of dementia.  

Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. It accounts for about one of every five American deaths. The risk of dementia is an additional reason to quit smoking.

Most people need help to quit. Options are counseling, nicotine replacement therapy and medicine. Most smokers also try to quit multiple times before succeeding.

Focus on the health benefits. You’ll breathe better. You’ll cut your risk of heart disease. You will probably protect your brain. These are all prescriptions for a better quality of life.

It’s difficult, but worth the effort.

 

.
.
InteliHealth
.
Ask A Question
.
.
InteliHealth
Do You Have A Question?
.
. . .
.
Ask The Expert Archives
Topics
.
InteliHealth
.
InteliHealth

    Print Printer-friendly format    
   
dmtatd
dmtATD
dmtatd
126747
InteliHealth
1998-05-15
f
InteliHealth
NULL
411, 4464, 4581, 4582, 7991, 7992, 7995, 7996, 7997, 8122, 8438, 8463, 8464, 8465, 8466, 8467, 8468, 8469, 8470, 8471, 8472, 8473, 8474, 8475, 8476, 8477, 8479, 8480, 8481, 8482, 8483, 8484, 8486, 8487, 8488, 8489, 8490, 8760, 14219, 20807, 21346, 21349, 21351, 23926, 23938, 24017, 24025, 24075, 24151, 24510, 24519, 24549, 24869, 24878, 25107, 25518, 25646, 25968, 29367, 29516, 29595, 48666, 48812, 59367,
4581
.
.  
This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.
.