Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) may increase the risk of severe dementia, according to a large population-based study conducted in China (Chen R et al. Occup Environ Med. 2013;70:63-69).
Researchers interviewed 5921 people aged 60 years or older who had lived for at least 5 years in communities in several Chinese provinces. They characterized the participants' smoking habits and exposure to ETS and assessed their levels of dementia syndromes. About 10% of those interviewed (626 participants) had severe dementia syndromes, and those exposed to ETS had a significantly higher risk. The effect of ETS was dose-dependent and involved people who had never smoked as well as former and current smokers, suggesting that ETS should be considered an important risk factor for severe dementia syndromes.
Friedrich MJ. Tobacco Smoke and Dementia. JAMA. 2013;309(7):649-649. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.503