Anyone who has smoked knows how difficult it can be to quit.
The thought of being without cigarettes can result in a panic attack. There comes a time when you ask yourself whether quitting smoking is really worth the effort.
Many people who have smoked all their lives think it is not worth quit smoking at an old age.
A new study show that quitting smoking does reduce mortality at an older age!
Smoking is a known risk factor for many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer, however, the epidemiological evidence mostly
relies on studies conducted among middle-aged adults, according to the study background.
"We provide a thorough review and meta-analysis of studies assessing the impact of smoking on all-cause mortality in people 60 years and older,
paying particular attention to the strength of the association by age, the impact of smoking cessation at older age, and factors that might specifically
affect results of epidemiological studies on the impact of smoking in an older population," Carolin Gellert and her colleagues from the German Cancer
Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany, note in the study.
The authors identified 17 studies from seven countries (the U.S., China, Australia, Japan, England, Spain and France)
that were published between 1987 and 2011. The follow-up time of the studies ranged from 3 to 50 years and the size of the study
populations ranged from 863 to 877,243 participants.
In summarizing the results from the 17 studies, the authors note an 83 percent increased relative mortality for current smokers
and a 34 percent increased relative mortality for former smokers compared with never smokers.
"In this review and meta-analysis on the association of smoking and all-cause mortality at older age, current and former
smokers showed an approximately 2-fold and 1.3-fold risk for mortality, respectively," the authors note.
"This review and meta-analysis demonstrates that the relative risk for death notably decreases with time since smoking cessation even at older age."
This analysis was conducted in the context of the CHANCES project funded in the FP7 Framework Programme of DG-RESEARCH in the European Commission.
The project is coordinated by the Hellenic Health Foundation, Athens, Greece. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors,
author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
Invited Commentary: Risk of Tobacco Deaths
In a commentary, Tai Hing Lam, M.D., of the University of Hong Kong, writes:
"Most smokers grossly underestimate their own risks. Many older smokers misbelieve
that they are too old to quit or too old to benefit from quitting."
"Because of reverse causality and from seeing deaths of old friends who had quit
recently, some misbelieve that quitting could be harmful. A simple, direct, strong and evidence-based warning is needed," Lam continues.
"If you have helped two smokers quit, you have saved (at least) one life," the author concludes.
MessageToEagle.com based on information provided by American Medical Association (AMA)
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