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Middle-aged male smokers experience a faster decline in brain function compared with men who never smoked, a new study finds. Decline in brain function among men who quit 10 years ago is similar to that seen in men who never smoked.

Reuters reports that the study found men who smoke have a cognitive decline that is as rapid as someone who is 10 years older who never smoked. The researchers did not find a link between cognitive decline and smoking in women. In men, however, smoking is linked with cognitive difficulties as early as age 45.

The study included 5,099 men and 2,137 women, whose average age was 56 when they were first given a cognitive assessment. Participants were tested for memory, vocabulary, reasoning, and other markers of cognitive function.

The findings are published online in the Archives of General Psychiatry.


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