Dubai (20 April 2012): Exercise may help smokers to quit and remain smokefree, according to new data presented today at the World Congress of Cardiology. Moreover, exercise increases life expectancy in smokers and non-smokers alike.
The study of 434,190 people who went through medical examination program at a private fee-paying company between 1996 and 2008 in Taiwan revealed that active smokers (those engaged in at least moderate activity) were 55 per cent more likely to quit smoking that those that were inactive. Furthermore, these active smokers were 43 per cent less likely to relapse than smokers that were inactive.
Physical activity among these subjects was also shown to increase life expectancy, even among smokers. Smokers that participated in physical activity had an increased life expectancy of 3.7 years and a reduction in all-cause mortality of 23 per cent - equivalent to levels achieved by ex-smokers with low activity levels. The results also demonstrated that active ex-smokers increased their life expectancy by 5.6 years and reduced their all-cause mortality by 43 per cent - equivalent to the levels seen in inactive non-smokers.
"Exercise can help smokers to quit and quitting smoking has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of developing CVD and that must be the goal of all smokers," said Dr. C.P. Wen, National Health Research Institute, Taiwan. "If smokers can continue to exercise, not only they can increase the quit rate, but also they can reduce their mortality for all cause and for CVD in the long run."
The prospective study of 434,190 individuals in Taiwan was conducted over a period of 12 years. Leisure time physical activity of each individual was grouped into 1) Inactive, 2) Low active (15 minute/day), and 3) Active (30 minute/day).
Tobacco use and cardiovascular disease
Smoking is one of the major causes of CVD and directly responsible for one-tenth of all CVD worldwide. Smokers are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack as people who have never smoked. Moreover, second-hand smoke exposure is responsible for 600,000 deaths every year.
A person can substantially lower their CVD risk by stopping smoking. Within five years of becoming a non-smoker, a person's risk of having heart attack is halved and within 15 years the risk of developing CVD becomes nearly the same of someone who has never smoked.
About the World Congress of Cardiology
The World Congress of Cardiology Scientific Sessions (WCC) is the official congress of the World Heart Federation and is held every two years. Through the Congress the World Heart Federation offers an international stage for the latest developments in science and public outreach in the field of cardiovascular health. The WCC places emphasis on the complementary nature of science and public outreach and strives to spread the message that through individual, community and patient-care interventions, the growing epidemic of cardiovascular diseases can be prevented. For more information, please visit: www.worldcardiocongress.org; keep up with the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #WCC2012Dubai
About the World Heart Federation
The World Heart Federation is dedicated to leading the global fight against heart disease and stroke with a focus on low- and middle-income countries via a united community of more than 200 member organizations. With its members, the World Heart Federation works to build global commitment to addressing cardiovascular health at the policy level, generates and exchanges ideas, shares best practice, advances scientific knowledge and promotes knowledge transfer to tackle cardiovascular disease - the world's number one killer. It is a growing membership organization that brings together the strength of medical societies and heart foundations from more than 100 countries. Through our collective efforts we can help people all over the world to lead longer and better heart-healthy lives. For more information, please visit: www.worldheart.org; twitter.com/worldheartfed; facebook.com/worldheartfederation