Smoking Over 50 and Dementia

I have held the view for many years that there is a link between smoking over 50 and dementia.
In my article ‘Facts about Smoking’ I list decrease blood flow to all the organs as being one of the health risks of smoking and, it is this very factor that could cause dementia. Think about what happens to your brain if it suddenly does not get enough oxygen. Yes it stops working and you will be declared brain dead! So why should it be any different if there is a slow and steady decrease in the supply of oxygen to your brain?
Mild to moderate impairment of brain function due to low oxygen levels in the blood is known as diffuse cerebral hypoxia, and this could be caused by lung problems, damage to the lining of the arteries and an increase in blood pressure,all of which can be caused by smoking.
A new study published in the journal Age and Aging has found that there appears to be a link between smoking and memory problems in people over 50.
They say that is too early to say definitively that smoking presents a direct possibility of elevating dementia risk, but this research would seem to suggest that there is cause for further analysis.
In the study which was carried out at King’s College, London the researchers took 8,800 people all over 50 years old and assessed data about the test group’s health and lifestyle choices from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (Elsa). They did this to be sure they were all similar in terms of general health. The group was then divided into two groups, one for smokers and one for non-smokers.
The test group was subjected to cognitive tests which were designed to examine overall mental ability together with long-term and short-term memory, attention and planning skills.
The group was retested after four and then eight years and the researchers found that after four years there was little difference between smokers and non-smokers, but after eight years there was a marked decline in cognitive function among smokers.
One of the researchers Dr Alex Dregan said on the BBC ‘We need to make people aware of the need to do some lifestyle changes because of the risk of cognitive decline.’
The study found that being overweight also seemed to affect the subjects mental capacity, but to a lesser extent.
This research highlights a need to intervene before your mental capacity is affected, but also because smoking causes the following additional problems that can affect your health negatively:
• Lung cancer
• Cancer of the throat, larynx and oesophagus
• Increased risk of peptic ulcers, cataracts and mental decline
• Increased free radical damage to your DNA
• Quicker aging specifically sagging skin, wrinkles and grey hair
• Dental problems
• Female fertility problems
• Loss of bone density and increased risk of hip fractures, especially in post-menopausal women
• Degenerative diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis
• Increased risk of diabetes
• Thyroid disease
I hope that I have given you enough reasons to quit smoking but, should you need more convincing or wish to find out how to go about giving up please visit my site Staying Young Secrets for more information.