How much heart and lung should you recover from smoking?
Former smokers have to wait 15 years from stopping smoking to return the risk of heart disease and infarction to a normal level, a new study showed.
Some previous studies have shown that the risk of infarction stabilizes about five years after leaving the cigarette, but a new study suggests that it takes three times more time.
After analyzing data from 8,700 people for 50 years, researchers from Vanderbilt found that it takes much more than a decade to remove the damage caused to the heart by nicotine and various other chemicals in cigarettes.
Heart and blood vessels are quickly recovering from damage caused by cigarettes, explains study author Meredith Duncan. But with the lungs, there is a completely different story, that is, they need to be recovered longer.
Cardiovascular disease is number one killer in all countries of the world, and one of the main contributing factors is cigarettes. Perhaps more and more people have decided to stop smoking, although this is great, it does not mean that their health will be better immediately.
"Lack of information about what actually happens to people who have been smoking for a long time," says Duncan.
To investigate this, they took data from a study that began in 1948 and lasted until 1975, in which two generations of people took part, and nearly half of them are smokers.
As heavy smokers, they categorized people who smoked at least one pack per day for 20 years, and about 70% of them had a heart attack during the study.
After five years, those who stopped breathing recorded a 38 percent lower risk of infarction compared to those who continued to smoke.
But it takes 16 years after stopping smoking to return the cardiovascular health of former smokers to the level of non-smoker health.
"For people who have been heavy smokers for a long time, there may be changes in the heart and lungs that can not completely return to normal," says Duncan. "What is important to remember is that the risk of heart attack and other forms of cardiovascular disease is definitely reduced after cessation of smoking, and this is the main discovery of this study."
Indeed, it has been proven that some of the good effects of smoking cessation are felt in the body almost immediately.
Just 20 minutes after switching off the last cigarette, the heart grooves and blood vessel pressure return to normal.
About 12 hours later, the level of carbon monoxide drops to a level that is so small that it is almost impossible to detect in the body.
A week later, the risk of infarction is already much lower because the heart and blood vessels are no longer exposed to chemicals that can cause blood clotting.
However, the risk of heart disease remains, but for this reason, all the good effects of quitting smoking should not be underestimated.