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It's never too late to quit smoking.

It's Never Too Late to Quit Smoking

Older persons with heart disease who quit smoking lived longer and had fewer heart attacks than did their peers who continued to smoke, according to Bonnie Hermanson and her colleagues at the University of Washington School of Public Health in Seattle.

The six-year study followed 1,893 men and women over the age of 55 whose coronary arteries had been shown to be diseased. The 1,086 smokers who continued to smoke after the study began had almost double the relative risk of dying (1.7) as the 807 men and women who had quit during the year before the trial began. The greatest risk improvement was among patients at moderate risk. These findings are similar to those reported for people aged 35 to 54 who quit smoking and, according to the authors, are "further confirmation that the increased risks associated with continued smoking do not diminish with age for patients with coronary artery disease."

The benefit of kicking the habit was "at least as great among patients who underwent bypass surgery as among those not treated surgically." They concluded, "It is very likely that the magnitude of the observed beneficial effect reflects the result of smoking cessation"
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Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Jan 1, 1989
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