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Heavy smoking and alcohol abuse cause premature ageing of arteries in youth


Key points from article :

“The more you drink, the greater the increase in arterial stiffness,” - Hugo Walford, study author.

Stiffer arteries are associated with higher risks of heart disease and stroke.

Researchers examined associations between smoking and drinking habits and changes in arterial stiffness at ages 17 and 24 years.

Alcohol use was classified as never, medium (4 drinks or less a day), and high (more than 5 drinks a day).

Smoking was categorised as never, past, medium (less than 10 cigarettes a day), and high (10 or more cigarettes daily).

Arterial stiffness increased by 10.3% from age 17 to 24, with a slightly greater increase in women.

Increased with each point rise in the average alcohol score.

High intensity smokers had a greater increase than never smokers (significant in women).

“Never smokers and ex-smokers had similar alterations in arterial stiffness, indicating that quitting can restore vascular health at this young age,” - Walford.

Study by University College London presented at ESC Congress 2021.

Stiffer arteries further elevate risk of heart disease and stroke, mainly in women

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