Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Former Smokers Can Regain Health and Improve Quality of Life

04.06.2004


A new analysis of data on smoking and health finds that smokers who quit before the age of 35 have a reasonable chance to regain their health over time and to live as long and as well as people who have never smoked. The Duke University Medical Center researchers who performed the analysis said that smokers who quit can dodge the debilitating effects of smoking-related diseases and maintain a high quality of life into middle-age and beyond.



The Duke researchers suggest that smoking cessation efforts should emphasize the impact of smoking on quality of life, in addition to its relationship to early mortality. They said smokers might be more inclined to quit if they understand that not only might their life be shortened, but that the quality of their final years might be significantly lowered.

"Any time smokers quit, they’re bettering their health; however, for many smokers it takes a negative health event to stop. For these people and for smokers who quit later in life, it is much more difficult to get back on track," said Donald Taylor Jr., Ph.D., Duke University Medical Center and Center for Health Policy, Law and Management at the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Duke University. "The message is that it’s better to quit now than later. The result is a longer, healthier life."


The researchers published their findings in the June 2004 issue of the journal Health Services Research. The study was funded by the National Institute on Aging.

The Duke study focused on the effects of smoking on quality of life or years of healthy life (YHL) in middle-aged and older Americans. For the purposes of the study, quality of life was described as the degree to which people perceive themselves able to function physically, emotionally and socially.

The Duke researchers analyzed data on smoking and health taken as part of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and its companion study, The Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old (AHEAD). Both of these studies collected data from 1993 to 2000 on how retirement impacts the health and wealth of both men and women. The studies were funded by the National Institute on Aging. In the HRS study, 12,652 men and women aged 50 to 60 were interviewed about their health behaviors, disease and disability, and medical care usage. The AHEAD study, which collected similar data, focused on 8,124 men and women aged 70 years and older.

In both studies, participants were asked every two years to rate their health as excellent, very good, good, fair or poor. The HRS group members also were asked if they were current or former smokers. Current smokers were asked if they would describe themselves as heavy (one pack or more per day) or light (less than one pack per day) smokers. Former smokers were asked if they had quit within three years, between three to 15 years or for 15 years or more. The AHEAD study limited the questioning to whether study participants were current or former smokers.

"Former smokers felt healthier and on average lived longer than smokers," said Truls Ostbye, M.D., Ph.D., professor in Duke’s department of community and family medicine and lead author of the paper. "Smoking had a clear relationship with both years of life remaining and years of healthy life remaining. It’s not a surprising result, but by examining these large data sets that included long periods of follow up, we can confirm what other smaller studies suggested."

Importantly, former smokers, both male and female, who reported having quit for 15 years or more had no statistically significant difference in years of remaining life or years of healthy life when compared to those who reported never having smoked at all, the study found.

In contrast, the researchers found that a 50- to 54-year-old male heavy smoker would lose approximately two years of healthy life and also reduce their years of life remaining by two years. A heavy smoking 50- to 54-year-old woman loses approximately 1.66 years of healthy life and 1.44 years of life remaining on average. Smoking takes a heavier toll on men because their estimated life expectancy is shorter than women.

Overall in terms of years of healthy life, an estimated 3.1 million years of healthy life were lost per year among U.S. men aged 50 to 84, while 1.6 million years of healthy life were lost per year to U.S. women in the same age group, the researchers said.

"It’s hard to quantify what makes life worth living, but health has an important role in perceived high quality of life," said Ostbye. "Heart disease, stroke and cancer, all of which have a relationship with smoking, are debilitating diseases. They can limit mobility and steal independence. The consequences of these diseases are severe and to many people this reduced quality of life is worse than a shortened lifespan."

Amy Austell | dukemed news
Further information:
http://dukemednews.org/news/article.php?id=7644

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bare bones: Making bones transparent

27.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>