Heavy smokers ‘at increased risk of dementia’

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A recent study carried out by US researchers has shown that heavy smokers with a 40-a-day habit face a much higher risk of two common forms of dementia.

The risk of Alzheimer's is more than doubled in people smoking at least two packs of cigarettes a day in their mid-life.

The US study, looking at over 21,000 people's records, is published in the Archives of Internal Medicine journal .

Those who smoked two or more packs of cigarettes a day had a 157% increase risk of Alzheimer's disease and a 172% increase risk of vascular dementia, caused by problems with the blood vessels supplying the brain, compared with a non-smoker.

Smokers who give up the habit in middle age have the same risk of dementia 20 years later as someone who has never smoked.

Ruth Sutherland, from the Alzheimer's Society, said that stopping smoking was one element of a healthier lifestyle which could protect against dementi


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