Seniors who quit smoking cut their risk of death by heart disease much more quickly than previously thought, a new study suggests.
Earlier estimates held that it takes smokers about 15 years after they quit to lower their risk of heart attack, heart failure or stroke to that enjoyed by people who never smoked.
A new examination of 853 former smokers aged 65 at the University of Alabama at Birmingham's School of Medicine found that many with a light-to-moderate smoking history can cut their risk in eight years or less. Light-to-moderate smokers who more recently quit had just a 14 percent chance of dying from heart disease, heart attack or stroke, compared with a 22 percent chance for former heavy smokers. People who never smoked had a 17 percent chance of death due to heart health problems.
The findings are to be presented at the American Heart Association's annual meeting in Dallas and study should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
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