CHICAGO, Ill. - A new study presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2018 in Chicago has mixed news for smokers.
As smoking has declined in the U.S., researchers have been able to study a growing pool of former smokers. More than 8,700 participants were used in the Framingham Heart Study.
It revealed former smokers reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease by 38 percent within five years of kicking the habit.
But it took 16 years after quitting for their risk to return to the level of people who had never smoked.
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More than 70 percent of cardiovascular disease events in current or former smokers occurred among those who smoked at least 20 pack-years.
Authors of the study reasserted the oft-repeated claim that the best day to quit smoking is today.
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