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Smokers at Increased Risk for Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

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A study published in the September 4th issue of Neurology indicates that smokers are 50% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease or dementia than non-smokers or those who used to smoke.
The Rotterdam Study, a large population-based, cohort study from the Netherlands which was designed to investigate the incidence and causes of cardiovascular, neurologic, endocrine, and ophthalmologic diseases, showed current smokers aged 55 years or older were 50% more likely to develop dementia than those who have never smoked or were past smokers.

Investigators looked at smoking habits and pack-years to determine their association with the risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and vascular dementia. Principal investigator Monique M. Breteler, M.D., Ph.D., of Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, said:

“Smoking increased the risks of cerebrovascular disease, which is also tied to dementia. Another mechanism could be through oxidative stress, which can damage cells in the blood vessels and lead to hardening of the arteries. Smokers experience greater oxidative stress than nonsmokers and increased oxidative stress is also seen in Alzheimer’s disease”

According to the authors of the study, smoking is a risk factor for many chronic diseases. Currently, the law firm of Alley, Clark, Greiwe & Fulmer is pursuing hundreds of lawsuits for persons throughout the State of Florida who have been harmed by tobacco.