Smog could harm mental function in older adults

November 16, 2012 3:33:10 PM PST
It's a proven fact that air pollution isn't healthy for anyone. But it could have a direct impact on an older person's mental abilities.

Scientists looked at more than 14,000 men and women ages 50 and older. The study found people who live in areas with high levels of smog scored worse on tests of mental skills such as word recall, knowledge, language and orientation.

This is the first national study to show how exposure to air pollution can affect older adults' mental abilities.

The study was presented at the Gerontological Society of America Meeting.