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It's never too late to quit

November 22, 2013
by Sandra Hoban, Managing Editor
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Seniors who have smoked for years may still be able to benefit from breaking the habit, according to the results of a new study. By abstaining from tobacco now, light-to-moderate smokers in their 60s can reduce the risk of cardiovascular death in eight years rather than the formerly estimated 15-year time frame, including lowering the risk for heart attack, heart failure and stroke.

While reducing the risk of cardiovascular death, the study finds that the risk of dying from other unrelated conditions such as cancer, emphysema and cardiopulmonary disease remains high.

Senior study researcher Ali Ahmed, MD, MPH, professor of cardiac diseases at the University of Alabama Birmingham School of Medicine, presented the study’s findings at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2013 conference in Dallas.

“Smoking is the single most preventable risk for heart disease,” Ahmed noted in a press release.

Because the data from this study were presented at a medical meeting, it should be considered preliminary until it is published by a peer-reviewed journal.

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