Study suggests smoking linked to cognitive decline

Published on Monday, 26 November 2012 11:16
Posted by Vicki Mitchem

Researchers have identified several cardiovascular risk factors which may be associated with the accelerated decline of memory.

Research at the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust & King's College London has found that smoking and high blood pressure may be associated with accelerated decline of memory, learning, attention and reasoning in older adults.

The study of more than 8,000 adults was published today (Monday 26 November) in the journal Age and Ageing. It found that participants over the age of 50 who smoked, had high blood pressure or were most at risk of suffering a stroke, performed more poorly on a range of cognitive tasks designed to test memory recall, verbal fluency, attention and other cognitive outcomes.

Alzheimer's Society comment:'We all know smoking, a high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and a high BMI is bad for our heart. This research adds to the huge amount of evidence that also suggests they can be bad for our head too.

'One in three people over 65 will develop dementia but there are things people can do to reduce their risk. Eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, getting your blood pressure and cholesterol checked and not smoking can all make a difference." Jessica Smith, Research Officer, Alzheimer's Society

Source: ©Alzheimer’s Society

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