In an Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology analysis of nationwide health claims from Korea, men who smoked had an elevated risk of dementia.
Compared with continual smokers, long-term quitters and never smokers had 14% and 19% lower risks for dementia, respectively. Never smokers had an 18% decreased risk of Alzheimer's disease compared with continual smokers. Also, long-term quitters and never smokers had 32% and 29% decreased risks of vascular dementia compared with continual smokers.
The study included 46,140 men aged 60 years or older from a Korean health screening program in 2002 to 2013.
"Smoking cessation was clearly linked with a reduced dementia risk in the long term, indicating that smokers should be encouraged to quit in order to benefit from this decreased risk," said senior author Dr. Sang Min Park, of Seoul National University, in Korea.