Smoking Raises Risk of Alzheimer’s, Study Finds in Refuting Industry-Affiliated Research

Smoking cigarettes is a significant risk factor for development of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study from the University of California at San Francisco.

Some studies have suggested that smoking may protect against Alzheimer’s. However, researcher Janine K. Cataldo, Ph.D., and colleagues said that an analysis of previously published studies found that some of those articles were influenced by an affiliation with the tobacco industry, whereas independent studies found an increased risk of dementia associated with smoking.

Specifically, independent studies found, on average, that the risk of developing Alzheimer’s was nearly doubled, whereas studies conducted by researchers with links to the tobacco industry showed a risk factor of .86, suggesting that cigarette use might help protect against the disease.

“We know that industry-sponsored research is more likely to reach conclusions favorable to the sponsor,” said study co-author Stanton A. Glantz, Ph.D. “Our findings point to the ongoing corrosive nature of tobacco industry funding and point to the need for academic institutions to decline tobacco industry funding to protect the research process.”

The research was published in the January 2010 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

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Smoking Raises Risk of Alzheimer's, Study Finds in Refuting Industry-Affiliated Research

Smoking cigarettes is a significant risk factor for development of Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study from the University of California at San Francisco.


Some studies have suggested that smoking may protect against Alzheimer's. However, researcher Janine K. Cataldo, Ph.D., and colleagues said that an analysis of previously published studies found that some of those articles were influenced by an affiliation with the tobacco industry, whereas independent studies found an increased risk of dementia associated with smoking.


Specifically, independent studies found, on average, that the risk of developing Alzheimer's was nearly doubled, whereas studies conducted by researchers with links to the tobacco industry showed a risk factor of .86, suggesting that cigarette use might help protect against the disease.


“We know that industry-sponsored research is more likely to reach conclusions favorable to the sponsor,” said study co-author Stanton A. Glantz, Ph.D. “Our findings point to the ongoing corrosive nature of tobacco industry funding and point to the need for academic institutions to decline tobacco industry funding to protect the research process.”


The research was published in the January 2010 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

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Smoking Raises Risk of Erectile Problems

Better hold off on smoking a cigarette after sex: a new study finds that smokers face an increased risk of erectile dysfunction, and sexual problems are greater among those who smoke more, Reuters reported Sept. 26.


Researcher Jiang He of Tulane University School of Public Health and colleagues reported that male smokers had a 41-percent greater risk of erectile dysfunction than nonsmokers. Among men who smoked up to 10 cigarettes per day, risk increased 27 percent; risk rose 45 percent among those who smoked 11 to 20 cigarettes daily, and those who smoked a pack of cigarettes a day or more were 65 percent more likely to have erectile problems.


“The association between cigarette smoking and erectile dysfunction was found in earlier studies,” said He. “However, most of those studies were conducted in patients with hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes and cardiovascular disease. What distinguishes this study is that it is the first to find this association among healthy men.”


“This study really has a strong message for young men,” He added. “It may get their attention if they know that smoking is associated with erectile dysfunction — even in the healthy population.”


The research was published in the Oct. 1, 2007 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

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Smoking Raises Risk of Impotence

Male smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to be impotent, and researchers say that the risk rises with the numbers of cigarettes smoked, Health News reported March 20.


Findings from the Australian Study of Health and Relationships found that men who smoke more than a pack of cigarettes a day were 40 percent more likely to be impotent than nonsmokers. The study looked at men ages 19-59.


Among those who smoked less than 20 cigarettes a day, the risk of impotence was 24 percent higher than among nonsmokers.


The research was published in the April 2006 issue of the journal Tobacco Control.

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