Quitting Smoking Reduces Risk of Heart Disease Even in Those Who Gain Weight

Quitting smoking reduces the risk of heart disease, even in smokers who gain weight after they quit, a new study finds.

Researchers found the median weight gain for people who did not have diabetes and had recently quit smoking was about six pounds. Despite their weight gain, these ex-smokers were about 53 percent less likely to have a heart attack, stroke or death from heart disease in the six years after quitting, compared with people who continued to smoke, CNN reports. People who were long-term quitters had a 54 percent reduced risk.

Senior study author James Meigs, M.D., M.P.H. of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston noted in a news release, “In patients with diabetes – among whom weight gain is a particular concern – we saw the same pattern of a large risk reduction regardless of weight gained.”

“The message of this study is that weight gain following smoking cessation does not offset the benefits of smoking cessation on cardiovascular diseases,” researcher Carole Clair, M.D., told CNN. “Doctors should advise all their patients to quit smoking.”

The study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.


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    peter – quit smoking blog

    May 16, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    2 things come to mind…

    1. choosing the lesser of two evils…:)

    2. it is probably easier to lose weight than to quit smoking – for most people anyway.

    just my 0.02c

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    March 16, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    Their baseline year, 1984, was at the peak of the Great Bootlick, when the social climbers sold out en mass to the anti-smokers. Quitting smoking was disproportionately among the well-to-do. And the well-off are less likely to have been exposed to the infections that are the real cause of heart disease, such as cytomegalovirus and Chlamydia pneumoniae. This study and every Surgeon General is a deliberate fraud because they ignore the role of infection.


    Furthermore, the decline in death rates since 1970 has been as large among smokers as among non-smokers: When the sharp decline in heart disease death rates began in the United States in the 1960s, it was the same in smokers as in non-smokers: “Nonsudden CHD death decreased by 64% (95% CI 50% to 74%, Ptrend<0.001), and SCD rates decreased by 49% (95% CI 28% to 64%, Ptrend<0.001). These trends were seen in men and women, in subjects with and without a prior history of CHD, and in smokers and nonsmokers." (Temporal trends in coronary heart disease mortality and sudden cardiac death from 1950 to 1999: the Framingham Heart Study. CS Fox, JC Evans, MG Larson, WB Kannel, D Levy. Circulation 2004 Aug 3;110(5):522-527.) And, the decline in cigarette smoking has been much greater in middle-aged men than in middle-aged women, which is not at all in accord with the equivalence in the decline in mortality for the sexes.


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