Smokers at Higher Risk for Developing Dementia
Smokers are 45 percent more likely to develop dementia than non-smokers, according to new information published by the World Health Organization in concert with Alzheimer’s Disease International.
WHO estimates that 14 percent of Alzheimer’s disease cases worldwide could be attributable to smoking. The group also cautions that second-hand smoke also could increase the risk of dementia.
“Since there is currently no cure for dementia, public health interventions need to focus on prevention by changing modifiable risk factors like smoking,” said Shekhar Saxena, WHO’s director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse. “This research shows that a decrease in smoking now is likely to result in a substantial decrease in the burden of dementia in the years to come.”
There are 7.7 million new cases of dementia annually, according to ADI Executive Director Marc Wortmann. In 2010, the global cost was calculated at $604 billion, representing 1 percent of global gross domestic product.
For more information, visit the WHO website. Additionally, the National Institute on Aging has issued a new web resource from NIHSeniorHealth.gov, Quitting Smoking for Older Adults. The resource offers videos, worksheets, quizzes and more for older smokers who want or are thinking or quitting.
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