Smoking and cognitive change from age 11 to 66 years: a confirmatory investigation

Addict Behav. 2007 Jan;32(1):63-8. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2006.03.020. Epub 2006 May 2.


Previously we reported that smoking is associated with a small relative decline in cognition from childhood to old age. In this study we perform confirmatory analyses on a further wave of data collected from 298 of the participants, all with age 11 IQ scores, at age 66years, 2years after the original observations. Non-smokers scored a mean 4.9 memory test and 2.6 information processing speed test points and ex-smokers 3.5 memory test and 1.9 information processing speed test points higher than current smokers respectively over the two waves of testing, equivalent to 4-8% of mean test scores, adjusted for the effects of childhood IQ. Across tests a 100l/min higher Peak Expiratory Flow Rate was associated with a 3-4% higher test score at ages 64 and 66years. These data confirm the adverse effect of smoking on information processing speed, and provide new evidence for a similar adverse effect on memory for people in their mid-sixties.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Child
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Educational Status
  • Electronic Data Processing
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence Tests
  • Linear Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Memory
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Peak Expiratory Flow Rate
  • Scotland
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Smoking / psychology*