Tags: Heart Disease | quit | smoking | heart | benefits | senior

Quitting Smoking Cuts Heart Risks Within 5 Years

By    |   Wednesday, 22 April 2015 03:06 PM

It’s never too late to quit smoking. That’s the upshot of a new review of studies that finds quitting produces significant heart benefits within first five years of smoking one's last cigarette.

What’s more, the analysis shows even those who quit smoking after age 60 still benefit markedly from the decreased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. But it’s also true that the more time that has passed since one has quit, the more considerable the decrease in a former smoker's risk of dying from heart attack or stroke.

The findings — reported by epidemiologist Ute Mons, M.D., from the German Cancer Research Center — are based on analysis of 25 studies, compiling data from over half a million individuals age 60 and older.

Dr. Mons noted twice as many smokers die from cardiovascular disease than life-long non-smokers do, and the risk increases with the number of cigarettes a person has smoked in his or her lifetime.

But the benefits of quitting produce measurable reductions in risk that begin to become evident in just five years and eventually leave former smokers only 1.3 times more likely to die of heart disease than had they never smoked, the new review shows.

Viewed another way, Dr. Mons noted the age of smokers who die from cardiovascular disease is, on average, 5.5 years younger than people who have never smoked and the age for former smokers drops to just over 2 years younger than life-long non-smokers.

"Therefore, it is never too late to stop smoking. Even people in the highest age group still gain considerable health benefits from it," said co-researcher Hermann Brenner. "Many heart attacks and strokes, with all of their serious consequences, could be prevented this way."

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Quitting tobacco produces significant heart benefits within first five years of smoking one's last cigarette, no matter what age.
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Wednesday, 22 April 2015 03:06 PM
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