Friday, October 30, 2009

Smoking, Even Light, Affects Young Adults' Arteries

(Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada Summary)

In young adults, smoking even one cigarette a day is enough to stiffen their arteries by 25%. As a person's arteries become stiffer, their risk of heart disease and stroke increases dramatically.

In the study, both smokers and non-smokers participated in three exercises tests. The smokers were not allowed to smoke for 12 hours before the first test, smoked before the second, and chewed nicotine gum before the third.

In non-smokers, arterial stiffness decreased following exercise. In smokers, however, arterial stiffness increased after the first round, increased 6x after chewing nicotine gum, and 12x after smoking a cigarette, for a total of a nearly 25% increase. Doing this every day
"can damage the arteries, compromising the ability of their bodies to cope with physical stress, such as climbing a set of stairs or running to catch a bus" according to one of the researchers.

Check out the full press release called "Smoking gun: just one cigarette has harmful effect on the arteries of young healthy adults" at the CNW group (Oct. 27, 2009).