Dementia is the general name for conditions that diminish the capacity to think, remember, reason, and interact with others. These symptoms can progress to the point that people are no longer able to carry out their daily activities and take care of themselves.The recent finding contradicts many earlier studies that have tied smoking to higher risk of dementia.
This could be because, for the new investigation, researchers from the University of Kentucky in Lexingtonanalyzed the data in a different way.They used a statistical method called “competing risk analysis” to allow for the strong effect that smoking has on risk of death.In a paper that now features in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, first study author Erin L.
Abner Ph.D., an associate professor in the university’s Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, and her colleagues describe their approach and findings.Dr. Abner explains that while previous dementia studies had used “solid” data, they had not taken “into account the idea of competing risk of mortality.
“According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 50 million people were living with dementia worldwide in 2015.
The WHO expect this number to triple to 152 million by 2050.Although dementia arises mainly in older people and is a main cause of disability for them, health experts do not consider it to be a normal consequence of aging.Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia and likely accounts for 60-70 percent of cases, globally.In the United States, estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that the number of people aged 65 years and older with Alzheimer’s disease is set to grow from 4.7 million in 2010 to 13.8 million in 2050.
Over this period, the biggest growth will be in those who are 85 years of age and older.A burgeoning cost of care accompanies these figures. The CDC calculated that the total cost of health, long-term, and hospice care for people with dementia was $277 billion in 2018.