Study: Smoking may lead to faster mental decline in seniors

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Cognitive decline in elderly people who smoke may be five times faster that non-smokers, a study in Neurology finds.

Researchers in several European countries studied the smoking habits of 9,209 people aged 65 and older over 2.3 years on average. None of those studied were diagnosed with dementia.

The researchers concluded the rate of cognitive decline was five times higher per year in current smokers than those who never smoked. Greater cognitive decline occurred as the number of cigarettes smoked rose. The researchers looked at the reported daily number of cigarettes each person smoked and the number of years.

Neurology is the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.