New York (ISJ): It is never too late to quit smoking. US researchers claim the risk of heart attack drops considerably or reduce the severity of coronary artery disease, if you quit smoking. The finding of the research by Dr. James K. Min and Dr. Rine Nakanishi with New York-based Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College was presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2013 in Amsterdam.
?Smoking is an established risk factor for cardiovascular diseases?Our study aimed to find out what impact stopping smoking had on the risk of cardiovascular events, death and the severity of coronary artery disease (CAD),? said Dr. Min.
Tobacco kills approximately 6 million people and causes more than half a trillion dollars of economic damage each year, according to World Health Organisation. In its report on Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2013, WHO says consumption of tobacco could kill about 1 billion people this entury, if the framework convention on tobacco control is not implemented rapidly.
Dr. Min and his team examined 13,372 patients from nine countries in Europe, North America and East Asia for the risk of adverse cardiac events in 2853 active smokers, 3,175 past smokers and 7,344 no-smokers. Both active and past smokers had a higher prevalence of blocked coronary arteries compared to no-smokers. This was determined by coronary computed tomographic angiography (CCTA) ? a non-invasive imaging technique that enables direct visualization of the coronary arteries. Active and past smokers had a 1.5-fold higher probability of severe stenoses in 1 and 2 major arteries and a 2-fold higher probability of sever stenoses in all three major arteries of heart.
Dr. Min, who is director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Imaging at the Medical College said, ?Our results show that quitting smoking does not reduce the amount of disease smoking cause in the coronary arteries, but it does reduce the risk of heart attack and death to the levels of non-smokers.?
In the case of active smokers, the rate of heart attack or death was almost two-fold higher to no-smokers. For those who have quit smoking, the risk was same as in the case of no-smokers, despite having a higher prevalence, extend and severity of CAD.