Smoking increases risk for cognitive decline among community-dwelling older mexican Americans

Nicole Collins, Natalie Sachs-Ericsson, Kristopher J. Preacher, Kristin M. Sheffield, Kyriakos Markides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES:: Few studies have investigated smoking and cognitive decline (CD) among older Mexican Americans. In this study, the authors explore the relationship between smoking status and cognitive changes over time in a large sample of community-dwelling older adults of Mexican descent. DESIGN:: Latent growth curve analyses were used to examine the decreasing growth in the number of correct responses on a test of cognitive functioning with increasing age (7 years with four data collection points). SETTING:: In-home interviews were obtained from participants residing in the Southwest United States. PARTICIPANTS:: Participants were community-dwelling older Mexican Americans. MEASUREMENTS:: Cognitive functioning was assessed at each of the four data collection points with the Mini-Mental State Examination. Participants' self-reports of health functioning and smoking status were obtained at baseline. RESULTS:: With the inclusion of health variables and other control variables, the effect of smoking status on cognitive functioning was significant such that the decrease in the number of correct responses over time was greater for smokers than for nonsmokers. CONCLUSIONS:: Smoking increases risk for CD among community-dwelling older Mexican Americans. There are numerous health benefits in quitting smoking, even for older adults who have been smoking for many years. Further efforts to ensure that smoking cessation and prevention programs are targeted toward Hispanics are necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)934-942
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • Cognitive decline
  • Hispanics
  • Older adults
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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