Objective: the incidence of cognitive impairment is increasing; however, little is known about the prevalence and risk factors for cognitive impairment of elderly people in China. This report focuses on investigating the relationship between cigarette smoking, alcohol drinking and cognitive impairment in elderly people.
Methods: 3012 participants aged 60 years old and over were enrolled from six communities of Chongqing. Cognitive function was measured by the Mini-Mental State Examination and Activities of Daily Living. The chi(2) test and logistic regression was used to find the relationship between cigarette smoking, alcohol drinking and cognitive impairment.
Result: the rate of abnormal cognitive function in elderly people was 11.95%. Smoking was closely related to cognitive impairment (chi(2)=6.59, P=0.027). Alcohol drinking was also associated with cognitive impairment (chi(2)=6.31, P=0.025). In all smokers, current smoking was associated with a significantly increased risk of cognitive impairment (RR 2.33; 95% CI=1.37-5.82). In all people who drink every day, there was a significantly increased risk of cognitive impairment (RR 3.47; 95% CI=1.79-6.71).
Conclusion: smoking and drinking are risk factors for cognitive impairment among elderly people. Cessation of smoking and reduction of drinking could be considered as part of a strategy to reduce the incidence of cognitive impairment.