Alzheimer’s Disease and Smoking

Blog Post created by dr_hurt on Jan 21, 2011

As they enter their golden years, one of the most feared of all diseases for middle-age people is the development of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.  Because the subtle early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease can take a long time to develop it is important to identify risk factors in middle age people that might pre-dispose a person to developing this dreadful and very debilitating condition.  Up until now reports about the relationship of smoking and Alzheimer’s disease have not been clear.  A new report from a study of over 20,000 people shows that heavy smokers age 50 to 60 are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease or dementia in later years compared to non-smokers.  This study also found that there was a dose response in that the risk of Alzheimer’s disease increased with increasing amounts of cigarette smoke.  This now adds to the very long list of smoking caused diseases, one of the most dreadful conditions that does not cause death but rather debilitates the individual and makes them functionally incapable of carrying on activities of daily living.  Middle-age smokers should begin to think about stopping smoking as soon as possible in order to reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.