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Smoking linked to mid-life memory loss: study

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posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 08:56 PM
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Smoking linked to mid-life memory loss: study


www.breitbart.com

Smoking apparently presents an increased risk for memory loss in people at mid-life, a new study released Monday found. The study by Severine Sabia and colleagues of France's Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale reviewed data from 10,308 London-based civil servants age 35 to 55 who took part in a study between 1985 and 1988.

The researchers said that they found strong links between smoking and cognitive and memory problems later in life.
(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
www.longitudinal.stir.ac.uk
en.wikipedia.org
archinte.ama-assn.org




posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 08:56 PM
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Yeah. This is linked up all over the web now, and you know it is going to be cited over and over again. I found the original link on the Drudge Report, but it is everywhere.

I do not want to be in the position of arguing for smoking, or drinking alchohol, or using drugs of any kind. However, I took a very close look at this study, and I think it lacks substance. It seems very bias.

These people clearly do not like smoking, period. That would tend to bias their study, I would imagine.

You can find the abstract for the actual study here:

archinte.ama-assn.org...

In particular, note that "in longitudinal analysis, the evidence for an association between smoking history and cognitive decline was inconsistent." My understanding of "longitudinal analysis" is that it is just a way of saying "repeatability" of the study.

Finally, the study makes a big deal that some of the participants died during the test, quoting an HR (that is "hazard ratio") of around 1.5 -- that is very small -- kind of insignificant. Probably not enough to impact the study, but it is mentioned up front, as if this is significant.

I invite anyone else to comment. I just hate it when these types of articles come out, heavy in implication but pretty light in substance. Am I wrong? Is this just fear mongering?

Anyone who has had a friend or relative die, attributed to tobacco use, will probably want to argue with me. Believe me though, I am only arguing against over-exaggerations and lies, and not the point itself.

You can't over-exaggerate and propagate lies just to influence behavior. That is very wrong.

www.breitbart.com
(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 9-6-2008 by Buck Division]



posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 10:51 PM
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One more note before I leave.

The reason this study was of particular interest to me is that it seems to contradict various other studies that show stimulants (such as nicotine) actually increase mental acuity and focus, so I found the results to be very surprising. I was disappointed to see the abstract appeared to be just a hack-job on smoking, without any cause and effect indicated.

I was going to shell out the $15 to get the full article from the AMA website, but I decided to pass when I read the abstract.

However, I have one question (maybe someone who subscribes can tell me.) During the tests, were these smokers allowed to take smoke breaks? How long had it been since they smoked, before taking the test?

I ask because if you take someone off of a strong stimulant like nicotine, it stands to reason there will be a brief and pronounced drop in cognitive abilities for a while after. I wonder if this is one of the "multiple covariates" they allegedly adjusted for. Or not.

Just a guess -- they kept these smokers sitting around for a few hours in a non-smoking waiting room before administering the test. That would account for the test results, I think.



posted on Jun, 10 2008 @ 02:50 AM
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Well.. I am glad I quit smoking 2 months ago... I am still absent minded though....



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