How much heart and lungs do you need to recover from smoking?
Old smokers should wait 15 years to stop smoking to return the risk of heart disease and heart attack to a normal level, he showed a new study.
Some previous studies have shown that the risk of heart attack stabilizes about five years after leaving the cigar, but a new study suggests it takes three times longer.
After analyzing the data of 8,700 people for 50 years, Vanderbilt researchers found that much more than a decade ago to eliminate the damage caused by the heart by nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes.
The heart and blood vessels recover faster from cigarette damage, explains study author Meredith Duncan. But with the lungs there is a quite different story, that is, they need to recover more time.
Cardiovascular diseases are the number one killer in all countries of the world and one of the main factors that contribute are cigarettes. Maybe this is why more and more people decide to quit smoking and, although this is great, it does not mean that their health will be better immediately.
"There is a lack of information about what really happens to the people who smoked for a long time," says Duncan.
To investigate this, they took data from a study that began in 1948 and lasted until 1975, in which two generations of people participated and almost half were smokers.
As heavy smokers, they categorized people who smoked at least one packet per day for 20 years, and about 70 percent of them had a heart attack during the study.
After five years, those who stopped breathing showed 38 percent less risk of heart attack compared to those who continued to smoke.
But it took 16 years after quitting smoking to return the cardiovascular health of former smokers to the non-smokers' health level.
"For people who have been heavy smokers for a long time, heart and lung changes may occur that can not return to normal," says Duncan. "What needs to be remembered is that the risk of suffering a heart attack and other forms of cardiovascular disease has diminished after the cessation of smoking and this is the main discovery of this study."
In fact, it has been found that some of the good effects of cessation of smoking are felt in the body almost immediately.
Only 20 minutes after the last cigar was turned off, the heartbeats and the pressure of the blood vessels return to normal.
About 12 hours the level of carbon monoxide falls to such a small level that it is almost impossible to detect it in the body.
One week later, the risk of heart attack is already much lower, since the heart and blood vessels are not exposed to chemicals that can cause blood clots.
However, the risk of heart disease remains, but for that reason the good effect of quitting should not be underestimated.