The former heavy smoker continues to have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) for 16 years after giving up, so give up now, say researchers at Vanderbilt University.
Most importantly, our results confirm that there is a huge advantage to quitting smoking and that ex-smokers can reduce their CVD risk by 38 percent within 5 years of quitting compared to continuing smokers, "said Meredith Duncan IFLScience said by email.
The group's unprecedented study released data from the study entitled Framingham Heart Study – an ongoing long-term cardiovascular health study initiated in 1948 with just over 5,200 adult volunteers in Framingham, Massachusetts. Following these individuals for many years, the original researchers have gained a valuable insight into lifestyle factors that are associated with the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Now, the common knowledge, the study was the first to link compromised heart function and strokes to smoking, cholesterol and hypertension. In fact, the term "risk factor" was invented by one of the early investigators. The subsequent tents added to the study include several racially diverse subjects and children and grandchildren of the previous participants.
For this special study, the team analyzed the health outcomes from 8687 people followed for a median of 27 years – until the development of CVD, death or by the end of 2014. All subjects did not have CVD at the time of accession and about half were smokers.
The results indicate that more than 70% of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks, heart failure and strokes, occurred in people who smoked at least one pack a day for 20 years – the hard subgroup of smoking which Duncan's group hopes to examine closer.