Men who smoke have an elevated risk of dementia, according to a new analysis of nationwide health claims from South Korea.
Compared with continual smokers, long-term quitters had a 14 percent lower risk of dementia, while men who had never smoked had a 19 percent lower risk, according to the analysis, which was published in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology.
The analysis also found that men who had never smoked had an 18 percent decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, compared with continual smokers.
The research also found that long-term quitters had a 32 percent decreased risk of vascular dementia compared to continual smokers, while men who had never smoked had a 29 percent decreased risk.
The study included 46,140 men aged 60 years or older from a Korean health screening program from 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 South Korea.