Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that improved air quality may improve respiratory health and reduce mortality. Increasing data support late-life exposure to air pollution as a modifiable risk factor for dementia, but whether improved ambient air quality translates to lower dementia risk is unclear. In this study on a geographically diverse cohort of US community-dwelling older women, we found that long-term improvement in ambient air quality in late life was associated with reduced dementia risk. The associations did not significantly differ by age, education, geographic region, Apolipoprotein E e4 genotypes, or cardiovascular risk factors. These findings strengthen the causal association between late-life exposure to air pollution and dementia risk.

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Screencap - Association of improved air quality with lower dementia risk in older women