Smoking or Weight Gain: Does One Have to Choose?

People who quit smoking gain both health and financial benefits. These are obviously things to cheer about. What smokers don’t cheer about is the assumption that they will inevitably gain weight when they quit smoking. The issue of weight gain is certainly not one we should overlook. However, what smokers might find encouraging is data from a recent study that indicates quitting smoking slashes heart attack risk even if weight increases.

Weight Gain And Smoking Study

This ray of hope comes from a study of more than 108,000 Korean men that took place over an 8-year period. When the investigation began, 46% of the men smoked, and 48% did not smoke. Furthermore, 6% of men had recently quit smoking. None of the study participants had heart disease, and all were over 40 years of age.

Throughout the 8-year study, participants smoking status and weight were tracked, as were heart events among the group. Of the men who had quit smoking, 27% gained weight, and 11% lost weight. Among the entire group, nearly two-thirds of the men maintained the weight they were at when the study began. From 2006-2013, 1,420 heart attacks and 3,913 strokes occurred, according to the study that was published in the European Heart Journal.

Observing the men’s health data, researchers did not find a correlation between weight gain and the risk of heart events. The non-smoking men in the study had a 63% lower chance of heart attack and a 14% lower risk of stroke than participants who smoked during the study. Even the men who recently quit smoking demonstrated the same benefits as the men in the non-smoking group.

The researchers who conducted this particular study concluded that the benefits of quitting smoking remained even in light of weight gain. While further research is necessary to observe the health statistics of a broader demographic, we can assume that the same merits apply to any man or woman who quits smoking.

Other studies have found that the body responds favorably to a non-smoking environment right away. Within a short time after quitting, heart rate decreases and blood pressure drops. Over time, the non-smoker experiences a significant decline in his risk of heart disease and stroke.

Smoking is a difficult habit to quit. Data suggests that people who team up with a doctor or smoking cessation specialist have a much higher chance of kicking their habit for good.

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The team at Premier Cardiology Consultants provides innovative cardiac testing and treatments. For more information on our services, contact us by calling (516) 437-5600.

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