According to a government report released on Thursday, the 52 million former smokers in the United States should maintain a healthy lifestyle to lower their chance of passing away too soon.
According to researchers from the National Cancer Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health, lung disease and other illnesses were associated with a lower chance of death.
Throughout the study’s 19-year follow-up period, former smokers who followed the scientifically supported guidelines to maintain a healthy body weight, keep physically active, eat a healthy diet, and restrict alcohol intake had a 27% lower mortality risk than those who did not.
JAMA Network Open reported the findings.
The conclusion is that ex-smokers gain from stopping and would gain much more if they followed other tenets of a healthy lifestyle, the lead author of the paper, Maki Inoue-Choi, told UPI in an email.
Inoue-Choi, an epidemiologist at the NCI’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics, pointed out that persons who have previously smoked still have a higher risk of illness and early death than those who have never smoked.
According to Inoue-Choi, finding out if individuals who stop smoking can lower their risk of dying even more by following other healthy lifestyle advice is crucial. And, she added, the study’s findings indicate that this is possible.
According to Inoue-Choi, it is preferable to follow several lifestyle suggestions for maximum effect. But even ex-smokers who followed just one piece of lifestyle advice saw improvements.
She claimed that she was shocked by the strong connotations of lifestyle.
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About 160,000 former smokers who participated in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study were included in the current analysis. Individuals enrolled in the study between 1995 and 1996 had already filled out questionnaires about their lifestyle, demographics, and other health-related information.
At the start of the trial, the participants were 62 years old on average. Throughout it, 86,127 of them passed away, and the investigators obtained death details from the National Death Index, including the cause of death.
The World Health Organization standards, the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans were all taken into account when the researchers generated a total adherence score for each participant, ranging from no adherence to full adherence.
The risk of death from cancer, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory illness decreased by 24%, 28%, and 30%, respectively, in former smokers with the highest healthy lifestyle adherence ratings.
No matter the person’s health status, any medical conditions, the number of cigarettes they used to smoke each day, the length of time since they quit, or their age when they first started smoking, according to the researchers, there was a reduction in their risk of dying.
“The key message for public health is that all former smokers may benefit from adhering to healthy lifestyle recommendations, regardless of their prior smoking use,” she reportedly said.