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Quitting Smoking Long-Term May Reverse Arterial Stiffness

Duration of cessation directly related to improved arteries

MONDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking cessation for a year or more reduces arterial stiffness, with a decade of cessation reducing stiffness parameters to insignificant levels, according to a report published online March 20 in Hypertension.

Noor Ahmed Jatoi, of Trinity College Dublin in Ireland, and colleagues conducted a study of 554 patients with untreated hypertension, who were aged 18 to 80 years, and 56 percent of whom were females. The subjects were classified as current smokers (150), non-smokers (268) and ex-smokers (136). The ex-smoker group was sub-classified according to length of cessation into less than one year, more than one but less than 10 years, and 10 years and above categories.

Compared with non-smokers, current and ex-smokers had a significantly higher pulse wave velocity and wave reflection, and there was a significant linear relationship between length of smoking cessation and improved pulse wave velocity and other arterial stiffness parameters.

"This highlights the importance of avoidance of smoking and the great need to promote smoking cessation in hypertensive patients who continue to smoke, as reduction in arterial stiffness may still be possible. However, these results need to be confirmed in a prospective, longitudinal study," the authors conclude.

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