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Men Who Smoke Have Faster Brain Function Decline Than Nonsmokers


Middle-aged male smokers experience a faster decline in brain function compared with men who never smoked, a new study finds. Decline in brain function among men who quit 10 years ago is similar to that seen in men who never smoked.

Reuters reports that the study found men who smoke have a cognitive decline that is as rapid as someone who is 10 years older who never smoked. The researchers did not find a link between cognitive decline and smoking in women. In men, however, smoking is linked with cognitive difficulties as early as age 45.

The study included 5,099 men and 2,137 women, whose average age was 56 when they were first given a cognitive assessment. Participants were tested for memory, vocabulary, reasoning, and other markers of cognitive function.

The findings are published online in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

1 Response to this article

  1. Carol / February 11, 2012 at 3:51 am

    Smokers are more likely to have been infected by cytomegalovirus for socioeconomic reasons. And CMV is directly implicated in mental decline and host of other diseases. Studies like that are part of a deliberate, systematic anti-smoker conspiracy to falsely blame smoking for diseases that are really caused by infection.

    The influence of latent viral infection on rate of cognitive decline over 4 years. AE Aiello, M Haan, L Blythe, K Moore, JM Gonzalez, W Jagust. J Am Geriatr Soc 2006 Jul;54(7):1046-1054. In 1204 community-dwelling elderly aged 60 to 100, “[t]here was a significantly higher rate of cognitive decline over the 4-year period in subjects with the highest CMV antibody levels at baseline than in individuals with the lowest levels (beta=-0.053, standard error =0.018; P=.003), after controlling for age, sex, education, income, and chronic health conditions.

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