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Friday, November 29, 2013

Quitting Smoking Reduces Heart Disease Risk

Tobacco products are harmful to one's health; quitting smoking could foster a healthier life sooner than previously thought, according to new research.

Research presented at the American Heart Association scientific meeting, showed that some smokers over the age of 65, may be able to cut their risk of dying from heart-related problems. Researchers previously believed that it took 15-years to reduce the risk, but new research has shown that the risk could be reduced in just eight years.

“The new finding is if you smoke less than 32 pack years (3.2 packs a day for 10 years), you might become like never-smokers much sooner than 15 years,” lead researcher Dr. Ali Ahmed of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine told Reuters. He found many smokers decreased their risk of dying from heart failure, heart attacks or strokes to the same level as people who never smoked in almost half the time as previous research suggested. “For half of them, it was eight years after cessation,” Ahmed said.

“Even for the heavier smokers, who smoked more than 32 pack years, compared to current smokers, they will significantly reduce the risk of total mortality by 35 percent (by quitting), so there’s a positive message for everybody,” he added.

It should be pointed out that people who quit smoking, may still be at risk of lung-related diseases, Ahmed noted. Lung cancer and COPD (emphysema) are disorders that can arise from long term tobacco use.
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