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Drinking, smoking, and Alzheimer's risk

April 16, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Reducing or eliminating heavy drinking and smoking may delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease, says a new study.Researchers looked at 938 people over age 60 who had been diagnosed with possible or probable Alzheimer's and gathered information from family members about their history in terms of drinking and smoking.

On average, heavy drinkers developed Alzheimer's almost five years earlier, while heavy smokers developed it, on average, a little more than two years sooner than nonsmokers. Patients who drank, smoked, and had a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer's, on average, developed the disease roughly eight and a half years earlier than people who had none of these risk factors.

From the American Academy of Neurology Meeting, 4/16 8A; Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami Beach, Fla.


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