Cholesterol, Another Reason to Quit Smoking

New research has shown that quitting smoking helps in creating a good cholesterol profile. While putting away the last cigarette may increase a person’s weight but it also increases good cholesterol.

In future researches it might be identified how smoking relates to heart diseases. Around 20% deaths caused by heart disease are blamed on smoking. Smoking probably affects the cardiovascular system in different ways like lower oxygen levels and wear and tear of the heart.

A few researches have shown that smoking lowers the good cholesterol (HDL) and increases the bad cholesterol (LDL).

Lead researcher Dr. Adam Gepner of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, in Madison conducted a research with the help of 1,500 smokers from the U.S. population.

The average of the smokers smoked around 21 cigarettes in a day before the research program started. After a year in one of five of quitting programs, 334 participants successfully quit smoking.

It was found that the quitters experienced about 5% rise in HDL cholesterol. The effects were found to be stronger in women. There was no impact of the amount of smoking done as heavy smokers enjoyed same HDL benefits as the light smokers.

The drawback of quitting smoking is weight gain. It was observed in the research that a quitter gained around 10 pounds. Increase in weight affects cholesterol as it increases the LDL and reduces the HDL. Researchers of this program think that the weight gain might have covered up other cholesterol benefits that quitting brought.

Gepner noted that it still remains unclear how quitting can affect cholesterol so further study is required to find out the actual reason. He says that it might be connected with the proteins that breakdown cholesterol as smoking damages these proteins.

Studies in the past have shown that for every 1md/gL increase in HDL cholesterol, the risk of cardiovascular disease drops by 3% over ten years. Therefore if the results from the research stand accurate, it can be said that improvement in blood lipids can decrease the risk of heart attack for a former smoker by 6% over 10 years since they quit.


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