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HHS HealthBeat (September 26, 2013)

Quitting, gaining, and reducing risk

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Quitting smoking can lower your risk of heart disease – but you can gain weight, and more weight might raise the risk of diabetes, which can raise the risk of heart disease. So where’s the health benefit? To look for an answer, researchers checked health data, notably on heart disease, in about 104,000 women ages 50 through 79.

At the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, researcher Juhua Luo says the benefit is on the side of quitting smoking:

“Quitting smoking helps women avoid heart disease, and the risk goes down in a relatively short time after stopping.”

She says risks were lower in quitters with or without diabetes.

The study in the Journal of the American Medical Association was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

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Last revised: September 26, 2013