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Smoker alert: Information you can live with
Date:2/1/2010

hose people who continued to smoke, even when socioeconomic measures (education, employment and income), cardiovascular risk factors (hypertension, obesity and exercise) and medical treatment were taken into consideration.

Those who quit smoking before the first heart attack had a 50% lower mortality rate, while those who quit after their heart attack lowered that rate by a whopping 37% compared with those who continued to smoke.

"Information to live with ― literally"

In their study, researchers also quantified the effects of a reduction, as opposed to complete cessation, in smoking. By cutting their habit by only five cigarettes a day, a smoker might see the likelihood of dying within the next 13 years decrease by 18%. The researchers caution, however, that continuing to smoke still carries the risks of cancer and lung disease, and doctors should urge that their patients quit entirely.

"The burden of heart disease on our healthcare system is enormous. The overall impact of smoking on heart attacks and cardiac mortality is therefore much more significant than its impact on lung cancer," says Dr. Gerber. "The effect of smoking on heart health is actually a much bigger public health threat, and most people are not aware of this.

"The novel aspect in our study is that it is the first to show the benefit of a reduction in smoking," adds Dr. Gerber. "This is information that some smokers could live with ― literally. We would like people to consider cutting down as an initial step before complete cessation, especially those who find it impossible to quit right away."


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Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert

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