Study Links Reduction in Cardiodiseases to Early Withdrawl of Smoking

According to surveys, one of the most difficult things to give up is smoking. Recent findings have provided evidence that the sooner the addiction is given up, the better it is for the person. Smoking on a daily basis can expose one to multiple health issues. These health issues include stroke, certain types of cancer, heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Many of us already know about these health issues but still giving up on tobacco is one of the most challenging tasks. Despite all the things, smoking is on a decline rate in the United States. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking in the US has dropped from 20.9% in 2005 to 15.5% in 2016. The fact that so many people are giving up on tobacco is that millions of adulthood used to smoke before.

There are many researchers who have already tried to work and observe the changes in the body after quitting smoking. According to the previous studies, the risk for cardiovascular diseases dropped after a few years of smoking tobacco. However, we cannot rely on the outcomes of the previous studies as they had some limitations.

Only a small group of participants participated in these studies plus there was also not a proper follow up of the participants smoking. The research has now been easy to carry just because of the large number of people who used to smoke previously. They help in further getting a clear view about how quickly the cardiovascular health becomes better with time.

For carrying out the research, researchers extracted the data from the Framingham Heart Study. In the study, there was information of around 8,700 people who did not experience any cardiovascular issue before the study took place.

The researchers carefully tracked the activity of each participant for almost 27 years. During the time span of 27 years, the participants reported 2,386 cardiovascular health issues. The researchers compared the results with the people who are currently smoking and with the ones who were never involved in this activity.

Keeping in mind other than smoking there are other risk factors too for cardiovascular diseases researchers tried to control these variables as far as possible. These risk factors include body mass index (BMI), age, cholesterol, the decade of birth, education level, diabetes, consumption of alcohol, hypertension, and sex.

As per the review of the study, 70% of the cardiovascular cases were reported for the smokers who used to smoke 20 cigarettes every day for a period of 20 years. On comparing with the people who did not smoke, people who left smoking within the 5 years were able to reduce the risk by 38%.

The analysis also showed that it took a long period that is around 16 years for the smokers to return back to normal health after smoking their last cigarette. The study got presented at American Heart Association’s (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2018, held in Chicago, IL by Meredith Duncan, a Ph.D. student at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN.

Meredith Duncan said: “These findings underscore the benefits of quitting smoking within 5 years, which is 38 percent lower risk of a heart attack, stroke, or other forms of cardiovascular disease risk compared to people who continue to smoke.”

Despite the task being a challenging one, the study clearly highlights the importance of leaving it sooner as possible. Although the rate of smoking has dropped in the past few years, still CDC exerts pressure on it by describing it as “the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the [U.S.].” Duncan writes, “The bottom line is, if you smoke, now is a very good time to quit.”

Adeena Tariq

Adeena's professional life has been mostly in hospital management, while studying international business in college. Of course, she now covers topics for us in health.

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