11 January 2013
Passive smokers are at a greater risk of developing severe dementia, a major new international study has revealed.
Researchers working in the UK, US and China say that they now have evidence that suggests a link to inhaling in other people's smoke and the syndrome that leads to the decline of the brain.
It is already known that people exposed to second-hand smoke – also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) are at a greater risk of developing cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
"Passive smoking should be considered an important risk factor for severe dementia syndromes, as this study in China shows," commented Dr Ruoling Chen, senior lecturer of public health at King's College London.
"Avoiding exposure to ETS may reduce the risk of severe dementia syndromes."
The World Health Organization has stated that over 80 per cent of the one billion smokers across the world live in low and middle income countries, where smoke-related illnesses are at their worst.
There are many types of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, the most common syndrome of all.
Posted by Jeanette Royston
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