Arterial Damage Reversed When Smokers Quit

Smokers get a variety of benefits when they quit, including improved arterial health and better levels of good cholesterol, even though they tend to gain some weight, researchers say.

The Associated Press reported March 15 that a study by James Stein of the University of Wisconsin at Madison and colleagues found that quitting quickly improved arterial health by one percent — a modest gain but enough to lower the risk of developing heart disease by 14 percent, the authors said.

The 1,500 study participants were given one of five smoking-cessation aids — nicotine patches, nicotine lozenges, the drug bupropion, a combination of patches and lozenges, or a combination of bupropion and lozenges. The quit rate was 36 percent after one year, regardless of which therapy the smokers received.

The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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