Recent research suggests that smoking intensity might be associated with an elevated risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in smokers.
In other words, those who smoke the same number of cigarettes a day but over a shorter period are less likely to develop this condition, but that doesn’t make smoking harmless. A group of experts conducted a 27-year-long study during which they discovered the effects of long-term smoking on participants.
- The study involved roughly 120,000 smokers.
- Based on the study findings, the scientists noted that people who smoked twenty cigarettes every day for about fifty years had a relative risk of 2.2 to develop coronary heart disease compared to those who smoked fifty cigarettes a day for twenty years.
- These participants had a relative risk of 1.7, therefore, much lower than the ones in the first group.
- Even if both groups smoked the same number of cigarettes, the longevity of tobacco exposure proved to be major factor influencing the development of coronary heart disease.
- Scientists define this process as the delivery rate effect.
The experts underline that these negative effects of smoking are just some of the many other long-term consequences. According to Jay Lubin, lead author of the study, this phenomenon is widely spread among smokers, and it manifests differently depending on their smoking patterns.
Smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in the world. Also, heart disease is the top killer in the U.S., and many of the victims were smokers or former smokers. Besides having a higher risk of developing coronary heart disease, smokers are more likely to die of lung cancer, because the lungs are exposed directly to the harmful smoke.
Although it becomes odorless after less than a minute, tobacco smoke contains at least 61 known carcinogens. In addition to this, children breathe twice as fast as adults, meaning that they inhale more toxic particles.
That is why second-hand smoking is one of the major public health concerns in the country. Many smokers who are at risk of coronary heart disease also have other poor lifestyle habits. More precisely, besides smoking, many of them are obese or at least overweight.
Public health specialists underline that obesity is one of the primary causes in the U.S. leading to type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and cancer. This means that those who are both obese and regular smokers have an elevated risk of developing coronary heart disease later in life.
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