In a new study, researchers found that smoking triples deaths from heart disease.
The study is the most in-depth in the world and shows for the first time how smoking harms all of the cardiovascular system—the heart and major blood vessels.
The research was led by a team from The Australian National University.
Smoking is killing at least 17 Australians a day from preventable heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular conditions.
In the study, the team tracked around 190,000 Australian smokers and non-smokers participating for 36 different types of disease over seven years.
They examined the impact of smoking on every possible cardiovascular disease.
This includes testing the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, heart muscle disease, rhythm problems, and gangrene from every walk of life: men, women, city, country, rich, poor.
They found that smoking causes terrible harm across the board. Basically, there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.
In Australia, There are around 2.7 million smokers.
Smoking causes more than 6,400 cardiovascular deaths, including heart attack and stroke each year.
Smoking also causes 11,400 coronary heart hospitalizations a year —31 per day.
The team found that the smokers have around triple the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared to people who have never smoked, and double the risk of a heart attack, a stroke or heart failure.
They are also five times more likely to develop peripheral cardiovascular diseases like gangrene.
Moreover, even light smoking can greatly increase heart disease risk.
There was a doubling in the risk of death from cardiovascular disease among those smoking an average of five cigarettes a day.
In good news, the research shows quitting smoking could strongly reduce the risk of heart attacks, stroke and dying from cardiovascular disease compared with continuing to smoke.
The team believes the battle to reduce the devastation tobacco brings to people’s lives is far from over.
The government needs to maintain tobacco control as a high priority to product people’s health.
For smokers, no matter how much they smoke or how long they have smoked, the best time to stop is right now.
The lead author of the study is Professor Emily Banks from the ANU National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health.
The study is published in BMC Medicine.
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