Old smokers who quit reap heart benefits faster than previously thought
Washington: A new study led by Indian origin researcher has suggested that cigarette smokers who are over 65 years of age may be able to lower their risk of cardiovascular disease-related deaths to the level of never-smokers when they quit faster than previously reported.
A study by Ali Ahmed, M.D., M.P.H., senior researcher and professor of cardiovascular disease at the University of Alabama at Birmingham's School of Medicine, showed that older people who smoked less than 32 "pack years"- 3.2 packs (20 cigarettes per pack) a day for no more than 10 years or less than one pack a day for 30 years - and gave up smoking 15 or fewer years ago lowered their risks of developing heart failure or dying from heart failure, heart attacks and strokes to the same level as those who had never smoked.
Previous research showed it may take up to 15 years or more of abstinence for smokers to reach similar cardiovascular death risks as people who never smoke. But many of the people in the study were able to reduce their risk in less than 15 years.
The study was presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2013.