Don't Mind the Pounds
Quitting smoking is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) despite weight gain among patients without diabetes, find researchers. Published in JAMA, the research had an average follow-up of 25 years. Both recent and long-term quitters experienced more than a 50 percent lower risk for CVD compared to smokers with the weight gained having only a small impact on risk. For patients without diabetes, recent quitters gained a median of 5.9 pounds, compared to only 1.9 pounds for both long-term quitters and smokers. Nonsmokers gained 3 pounds. Among recent quitters, diabetic patients gained much more weight (7.9 pounds) than smokers (1.9 pounds) and nonsmokers (1.1 pounds). Diabetic long-term quitters didn't gain weight.
Reduces Ki-67 Levels
A second phase II trial involving 137 patients aged 45 and older who quit smoking in the past year confirmed that the cox-2 inhibitor celecoxib may protect former smokers from developing lung cancer. Cox-2 promotes inflammation which has been shown to be an early factor in cancer. Bronchoscopies were done prior to taking celecoxib or placebo and six months later to measure Ki-67 expression in the lungs, which indicates cell proliferation and growth which occurs in inflammation and cancer. Celecoxib decreased Ki-67 levels by 34 percent and the number of precancerous nodules while the placebo group had increased Ki-67 expression. Researchers believe that the arthritis drug could be used for chemoprevention and a larger phase III trial will be conducted to confirm these results.
Cigs May Cause Stress
Chronic stress levels may go down once you quit smoking, say researchers writing in the journal Addiction. While people often turn to cigarettes in times of stress, it seems that the smoking habit could affect long-term stress levels. Reuters reports on the new study of 469 smokers who were hospitalized for heart disease and were motivated to quit smoking. Researchers found that the patients who abstained from smoking for a year displayed a reduction in perceived stress levels. However, the patients who continued to smoke had unchanged stress levels. The researchers believe that the findings support the idea that smoking is itself a potential source of chronic stress.