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PET imaging shows young smokers quick benefit of quitting

p to six times higher in smokers than in nonsmokers, and about half of all smokers who continue to smoke will end up dying from a smoking-related illness. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, accounting for 438,000 deaths annually (about one of every five deaths). Since coronary endothelial dysfunction is both "a significant predictor of cardiovascular events"—and reversible—its early detection is important, said Tamaki. PET—a diagnostic imaging test that measures metabolic activity and generates images of organ or tissue function?will continue to provide insight into coronary risk analysis and risk management (such as smoking cessation and lowering one's cholesterol)," he added.

In the Hokkaido University study, researchers examined the effects of smoking cessation on coronary endothelial dysfunction in 15 young male adults (in their twenties and thirties) with no other heart diseases or cardiovascular risk factors (other than smoking). The young smokers, who smoked an average of 20 cigarettes a day, agreed to stop for at least six months. Myocardial (heart) blood flow was measured both at rest and during stimulation induced by a cold pressor test by using PET with the oxygen tracer called 15O-water. Additional research is necessary, said Tamaki. "We would like to compare the current information with data from middle-aged smokers to see whether such response after smoking cessation may be seen in an older generation. Also, it would be nice to see the reversibility in young smokers associated with other risk factors, such as diabetes and obesity," he said.
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Source:Society of Nuclear Medicine


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