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Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2011 May-Jun;52(3):281-3. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2010.04.018. Epub 2010 May 7.

Smoking rates in dementia patients in the outpatient setting.

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Winthrop University Hospital, Division of Geriatric Medicine, 222 Station Plaza North, Suite 518, Mineola, NY 11501, USA.


The purpose of this study is to determine the prevalence of tobacco use in patients diagnosed with dementia or cognitive impairment in an outpatient setting as they may be unsafe smokers and present safety risks to themselves and others. We conducted a retrospective chart review of new patients between 1/06 and 8/07 who were diagnosed with dementia or cognitive impairment in a geriatric outpatient practice. The data collected included age, gender, tobacco use patterns and mini-mental state examination (MMSE) score. Data was analyzed using SAS 9.1 for Windows (SAS Institute, Cary, NC). Former tobacco use rates in our study were similar to nationwide published rates for elderly over 65 (39.9% vs. 39.5%, respectively, p=0.99). However, only two patients in our study (1.32%, 95%CI=0.16-4.70) were current tobacco users compared with published census data that 10.2% of those over 65 are current smokers nationwide (p<0.001). Our study revealed a much lower rate of current tobacco use in our series of cognitively impaired patients. Further research is needed to explore the reasons for decreased smoking in those with cognitive impairment and its clinical implications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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