AHA LogoAccording to a latest research, smoking seems to continue to be a major risk factor for death from heart disease and cancer in adults who already have heart disease and receive good medical therapy.

For the purpose of better understanding this criterion, researchers were noted to have examined 12,152 men and women who participated in an international research. Apparently, it was based on their smoking status namely current smokers, former smokers and nonsmokers.

Of the participants, nearly 20 percent were believed to be current smokers whereas about 51 percent were former smokers and 29 percent never smoked. In addition, the average age seemed to have ranged from 60 years in the smoking group to 66 years in the group of nonsmokers. More so, all groups were mainly Caucasian and included Americans and Europeans.

“The analysis provides further strong evidence that people with heart disease who continue to smoke take a very high risk of increasing their chances of death in the short term,” says Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H., principal investigator of Clopidogrel for High Atherothrombotic Risk and Ischemic Stabilization, Management and Avoidance (the CHARISMA trial) and chief of cardiology at V.A. Boston Healthcare System in Massachusetts.

He further said that, “The study provides impetus for a smoker to stop. The benefits of risk reduction accrue relatively quickly when someone stops smoking, although the lingering cancer risk is still there.”

Researchers seemed to have found no difference in risk between men and women via smoking status. They also seemed to have found no considerable difference between former smokers and nonsmokers in risk of death from heart disease or from all causes. However, former smokers were noted to be at an increased risk of death from cancer as compared to those who never smoked.

Moreover, existing smokers appear to have a 2.58 times higher risk of death from all causes and a 2.26 times increased risk of death from heart disease than to those who never smoked. Apparently, they had 3.56 times increased chances of cancer death.

“You’re much better off being a former smoker than a current smoker. It’s a good idea to stop now rather than taking your chances or considering stopping when you are older and sicker,” elucidates Bhatt.

The findings of the research revealed that existing smokers appear to have more than doubled their likelihood of death from heart disease and cancer and all causes in the three-year investigation period. Moreover, present smokers seemed to be at an increased risk of heart attack and stroke in contrast to earlier smokers and nonsmokers.

In another aspect of the research, investigators seemed to have inspected the impact of smoking on the treatment effect of the extensively used medicine clopidogrel, an anti-platelet agent.

They found that medicine could perhaps benefit smokers more in contrast to former smokers and nonsmokers. Also, clopidogrel considerably was observed to have decreased death from all causes and death from heart disease in existing smokers.

Supposedly, the benefit was less in former smokers and nonsmokers. Although clopidogrel therapy was more effective in current smokers they also appear to have a greater risk of bleeding than to those who did not smoke.

The findings of the research have been published in the journal, Circulation.