Quitting smoking helps hearts, even with weight gain
BOSTON (REUTERS) - People who have quit smoking have a lower chance of suffering a heart attack or stroke than current smokers, even if they put on a few extra kilos in the process, according to an international study.
The long-term cardiovascular benefits of kicking the smoking habit have been well-established, but researchers whose report appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association said it had been unclear how the weight gain that often accompanies quitting fits into the picture.
Over an average of 25 years, 631 of all participants suffered a heart attack or stroke, or developed heart failure or another type of cardiovascular disease. Both people who said they had quit smoking since their last check-in and longer-term quitters were about half as likely to have heart problems as those who were still using cigarettes.
Quitters gained an average of 2.7kg to 3.6kg after kicking the habit, consistent with past research. However, quit-related weight gain had no clear effect on cardiovascular health.