Quitting for the better
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
Smoking can kill. But Harvard School of Public Health researchers can show how quitting smoking reduces the risk of death.
The researchers used 24 years of data on more than 100,000 women. In the first five years of quitting, ex-smokers had a 13 percent reduction in the risk of death from all causes. Risk of dying from coronary heart disease fell by 47 percent; for lung cancer, risk dropped by 21 percent.
Over time, the risk of death from all major causes declined to the level of a nonsmoker. Researcher Stacey Kenfield:
``Our main message is that the harms of smoking are reversible. However, for some causes of death, this reduction in risk does take many years.’’ (8 seconds)
The study in the Journal of the American Medical Association was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
Learn more at hhs.gov.
HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011