Levels of nicotine dependence in the elderly and cognitive impairment

Ricardo Luís de Aguiar Assis, Bruno Terra Junho, Valdir Ribeiro Campos

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17711/SM.0185-3325.2020.022

Abstract


Introduction. Health problems in elderly individuals are diverse. The use of cigarettes, a potentially addictive substance, has been increasing in the elderly population age group, affecting the cognitive and elderly domains, and becoming an important global public health problem.

Objective. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between tobacco consumption by the elderly, as well as different levels of nicotine dependence and cognitive domains of executive functions.

Method. It is a case-control study composed by 58 individuals aged ≥ 60 years, with 29 participants in the clinical group and 29 in the control group. The case-control sample was paired in subgroups by sex, socioeconomic status, schooling, and sample isonomy with the clinical group. We used the Shapiro-Wilk normality test, the Mann-Whitney test, the student T-test, and the Cohen d-estimator.

Results. The control group performed better compared to the clinical group with the median grade in the inhibitory control of the executive domain with Cohen’s d 1.00 in the five-digit test and Cohen’s 1.5 in the Stroop test. The control group compared with the high-grade clinical group presented better performance with Cohen’s working memory of 1.56 d, Cohen’s inhibition of 1.06 d in the five-digit test, and Cohen’s of 1.17 d in the Stroop test.

Discussion and conclusion. The detection of the level of nicotine dependence is associated with the degree of cognitive impairment in the specific executive domain, which provides a possibility of differential diagnosis, both in the clinical and population contexts, directed at the rehabilitation of executive domains most affected by smoking in the elderly.

Keywords


Tobacco; nicotine dependence; cognitive domains

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References


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