Quitting smoking can boost good cholesterol levels

In the American Heart Journal, researchers said that when people quit smoking, there is a bigger possibility that the good cholesterol level can boost for good. The study that was the main discussion of an article by Lynne Peeples of Reuters Health published on December 23, focused on 1,500 subjects who smoked an average of 21 cigarettes a day when the study started.

According to Peeples, 36 percent or 334 people from the participants managed to quit smoking after a year of smoking cessation program. These people were able to experience an average rise of nearly 5 percent or 2.4 milligrams per deciliter in HDL cholesterol. The Reuters Health said on Thursday that the effects of quitting smoking are stronger in women. They added, “However, it did not appear to matter how many cigarettes were smoked at the start of the study: heavy smokers enjoyed the same HDL benefit as lighter smokers after they quit."

The effects were considered as beneficial despite the fact that an average of 10-pound weight gain per person was seen on those who quit smoking. This is compared to the one or two pounds among people who relapsed. According to experts, weight gain is actually harmful to HDL cholesterol because it increases the amount of bad cholesterol or LDL.

Peeples said, "If confirmed in future research, the finding could shed light on the strong, yet somewhat mysterious relationship between smoking and heart health." There was more than 20 percent of heart disease deaths were caused by smoking. However, researchers said that they still don’t have a clear understanding of what is behind the said effect. Peeples added that smoking likely affects the cardiovascular system in a variety of ways, including lowered oxygen levels and wear and tear on the heart itself.”

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