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Passive Smoking Linked to Cognitive Disorders

Posted Jan 16 2013 10:07pm
Posted on Jan. 14, 2013, 6 a.m. in Brain and Mental Performance Environment

Passive smoking, also known as ‘second-hand’ smoke or environmental tobacco smoke, is known to cause serious cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, including coronary heart disease and lung cancer.  An international study by scientists in China, the United Kingdom, and United States has found a link between passive smoking and syndromes of dementia.  Dr Ruoling Chen, from King’s College London (United Kingdom), and colleagues surveyed 5,921 people, ages 60 years and older, living in the rural and urban communities in China to characterize their levels of environmental tobacco smoke exposure, smoking habits and assess levels of dementia syndromes.  The team found that 10% of the group had severe dementia syndromes, which was significantly related to exposure level and duration of passive smoking. The associations with severe syndromes were found in people who had never smoked and in former and current smokers. Observing that: “[environmental tobacco smoke] should be considered an important risk factor for severe dementia syndromes,” the study authors urge that: “Avoidance of [environmental tobacco smoke] may reduce the rates of severe dementia syndromes worldwide.”

Ruoling Chen, Kenneth Wilson, Yang Chen, Dongmei Zhang, Xia Qin, Meizi He,et al.  “Association between environmental tobacco smoke exposure and dementia syndromes.”  Occup Environ Med 2013;70:1 63-69.

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#107 - Foil the Common Sleep Robbers
If you experience trouble falling asleep, or staying asleep, consider the following:

• An irregular or inconsistent schedule of being awake/asleep sets the biological stage for poor sleep. Set a regular schedule, particularly for the time at which you get up everyday.

• Avoid caffeine (commonly found in soda, soft drinks, coffee, and tea), which is a stimulant, for six hours before bedtime, longer if you know these substances give you trouble sleeping. Also avoid hidden sources of caffeine, such as chocolate and some over-the-counter pain and cold remedies.

• Avoid nicotine (from cigarettes or a skin patch), also a stimulant, for at least six hours prior to bedtime.

• Avoid alcohol after dinnertime. While a drink may help you fall asleep, it will probably cause you to awaken in the middle of the night.

• If you are on any prescription or over-the-counter medications, ask your doctor if any of them could be keeping you awake or causing you not to get a refreshing sleep.
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