(Mirror Daily, United States) – A large British study revealed that cutting back on cigarettes still doesn’t prevent smokers from having an elevated risk of heart disease and stroke.
In fact, puffing just one cigarette per day is tied to a 50% higher risk of heart disease and 30% higher stroke risk. Experts recommend kicking the habit completely.
The findings, which appeared this week in the BMJ, show that smoking has no safe level when it comes to cardiovascular disease.
Surprisingly, heart disease is the top killer in the United States, not cancer. Around 48% of early deaths in people that smoke are caused by heart disease. While the percentage of smokers has been on a declining trend, more and more smokers tend to cut back to one cigarette per day.
The latest analysis revealed that smoking one cigarette daily still caused heart attacks in middle-aged men. The risk was not prevalent in women, but they too had a 31% higher risk of having a stroke. Men who smoked just one cigarette daily had a 25% higher risk for stroke.
Smokers Should Stop Completely
Lead author Allan Hackshaw noted that cutting back on smoking has some health benefits like lower risk of lung cancer, but it doesn’t trim the risk of cardiovascular disease. Smokers have to stop completely, Hackshaw said.
The study also found that men who smoke just one cigarette per day were 54% less likely to be diagnosed with heart disease and 59% less likely to be have a stroke than men who smoked a full pack per day.
Women were 69% less likely to develop a heart condition than their peers who smoked a full cigarette pack per day.
Researchers underlined that the risk of heart disease increases over a lifetime, but damage to the heart and lungs can be down within just a few years. One piece of good news is that former smokers seem to reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke.
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