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The Daily Mail reports a new study has warned that men who smoke regularly are more likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in later life.

Researchers, who undertook the study, found that smoking in men can cause a greater and more rapid decline in memory and other types of cognitive ability

The number of dementia cases worldwide is rising and is projected to double every twenty years. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia in Ireland and accounts for 66 per cent of all cases. Estimates suggest that by the year 2036, 104,000 Irish people will be affected by the disease.

Doctor Severine Sabia, of University College London, examined the association between smoking history and cognitive decline as participants passed from midlife into old age. The study was drawn out over a couple of years, so scientists could see the impact that smoking was having on memory and mental function.

The results from the study suggested that smoking in men is associated with more rapid cognitive decline, and men who continued to smoke throughout the study experienced greater decline in other tests that measured things like memory and brain function.

Men who quit smoking during the years of the study did not show any mental decline.
Dr Sabia said that the results showed an association between smoking and cognition and how well the brain can function, although she said that their results were likely to be “underestimated.”

She also added that the results showed no association between smoking and cognitive decline in women, which was unusual given the impact that smoking had on men. Although she observed that men tended to use a greater quantity of tobacco than women did.

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