Dangerous addiction. Smoking increases the risk of memory loss and confusion
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Researchers suggest that cigarette addiction may result in cognitive decline at an earlier age.
Smoking has long been known to have a negative effect on the human body. However, researchers now believe that addiction to cigarettes can lead to problems with memory and consciousness, even for middle-aged people, writes Sofia News Agency.
A group of scientists from Ohio State University became the first to study the relationship between smoking and cognitive decline. The study is based on a survey that consists of the main question – do you experience worsening or more frequent memory loss and/or confusion.
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The results are based on earlier studies that found links between smoking, Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. The researchers speculated that this could point to the possibility of identifying problems at an earlier age.
According to the lead author of the study, Jenna Rajczyk, the results of the study are also further evidence that quitting smoking is good not only for respiratory and cardiovascular causes, but in general will have a positive effect on human neurological health.
Associate professor of epidemiology Geoffrey Wing, senior author of the study, said the association he and his colleagues found was more significant in the 45-59 age group. Researchers believe that smoking cessation at this age may benefit the cognitive health of smokers. By the way, scientists also note that they did not find a similar relationship in the oldest age group – it is assumed that quitting smoking earlier gives people more benefits.
The data for the study were taken from the national surveillance system for behavioral risk factors in 2019. In the course of the study, the researchers examined the cognitive functions of current smokers, those who recently quit smoking, and those who quit smoking several years ago. In total, more than 136,000 people aged 45 years and older took part in the study.
Scientists found that cognitive decline among smokers was almost 1.9 times higher than among non-smokers, and among those who quit smoking less than 10 years ago are 1.5 times higher than those of non-smokers. Those who quit smoking 10 or more years ago had a slightly higher rate of cognitive decline than those who did not smoke.
According to Rajczyk, the results of the study suggest that the time elapsed since smoking cessation plays a key role.
The researchers note that this study was not supported by individual tests, but it does show a trend in the relationship between smoking and cognitive decline in middle age. And in the future it could be used in a campaign aimed at combating smoking.