Smokers hardest hit by old age disability
SMOKERS are not only more likely to die young, they are also hit hardest by disability in old age, a study says.
Research published today shows that smokers tend to develop disabilities earlier and live with them for far longer than non-smokers. This is despite the fact that non-smokers live longer, so might be expected to experience more disability as their bodies wear out. Smokers are far more likely to contract lung cancer and heart disease.
The results come from a study of 5,500 people aged between 15 and 74 in the Netherlands and 7,500 elderly people in America. At 30 and 70 years, non-smokers were less likely to be disabled than smokers or former smokers, they found.
If non-smokers become disabled, they live for fewer years with the disability than smokers and recover more quickly from debilitating illness, researchers from Erasmus University, Rotterdam, report in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.