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Original Investigation
February 28, 2011

Heavy Smoking in Midlife and Long-term Risk of Alzheimer Disease and Vascular Dementia

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Neurology, University of Eastern Finland (Drs Rusanen and Kivipelto) and Kuopio University Hospital (Dr Rusanen), Kuopio, Finland; Karolinksa Aging Research Center, Stockholm, Sweden (Dr Kivipelto); and Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, Oakland, California (Drs Quesenberry and Whitmer and Ms Zhou).

Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(4):333-339. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2010.393

Although it is well established that smoking increases the risk of several diseases, there has unfortunately been a recent increase in smoking among young adults in some developed countries.1 Current estimates suggest there are several million deaths attributable to smoking and markedly increased cardiovascular- and cancer-associated mortality rates.2 Although smoking increases risk of most diseases and death, some studies suggest that it is associated with a lower risk of certain neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson disease.3 The link between smoking and risk of Alzheimer disease (AD), the most common subtype of dementia, has been somewhat controversial, with some studies suggesting that smoking reduces the risk of cognitive impairment.4