• cigarette smoking;
  • dementia;
  • elderly

The report focused on investigating the relationship between cigarette smoking and dementia in elderly people through prospective studies. We did a 2-year follow-up study of elderly people. A total of 2820 participants aged 60 years old and over from six communities of Chongqing agreed to take part. Dementia was diagnosed with MMSE (Mini-Mental State Examination) and DSM-III-R (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Participants were classified as never smokers, past smokers, and current smokers. During follow-up, we recorded incident cases of dementia. The association of smoking and dementia was investigated using proportional hazards regression analysis. A total of 121 incident cases of dementia were detected, of which 84 (69%) were Alzheimer's disease, 17 (14%) were vascular dementia, and 21(17%) were other dementia. Compared with never smokers, current smokers had an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease (RR = 2.72; 95% CI = 1.63–5.42) and vascular dementia (RR = 1.98; 95% CI = 1.53–3.12) adjusting for age, sex, education, blood pressure, and alcohol intake. Compared with light smokers, the adjusted risk of Alzheimer's disease was significantly increased among smokers with a medium level of exposure (RR = 2.56; 95% CI = 1.65–5.52), with an even higher risk of Alzheimer's disease in the heavy smoking group (RR = 3.03; 95% CI = 1.25–4.02). Smoking was associated with the risk of dementia. This study suggests that both smoking status and amount is associated with dementia.