People who started smoking in childhood, die early from heart disease

According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, people who started smoking before the age of 15 are three times more likely to die prematurely from cardiovascular disease and vascular catastrophe than those who have never smoked.

The researchers decided to find out if there is a link between childhood smoking and the risk of death. They analyzed data from nearly 400,000 people aged 25 to 74 years collected between 1997 and 2014 and grouped participants by the age at which they started smoking.

After adjusting for variables such as education, alcohol consumption, race, housing area and others, the researchers found that the risk of premature death due to heart disease or stroke among smokers who started this bad habit between the ages of 10 and 14 was 19% higher. Those who started smoking before the age of 10 had the highest risk of dying early.

However, there were some encouraging findings: those who quit smoking by age 40 reduced the risk of early death from cardiovascular disease and catastrophe by about 90%.

According to WHO, smoking is still the leading cause of death, with over eight million people dying each year because of this habit. Currently, more than 1.1 billion people smoke cigarettes, and several million of them have become regular smokers before the age of 15 years. In addition, the number of vapers - smokers of electronic cigarettes is growing: if in 2011 there were seven million, in 2016 - already 35 million.

The authors of the study argue that further study is needed on how childhood smoking can affect cardiovascular risks. In future studies, they say, they intend to explore the relationship between early smoking and death from other causes, such as respiratory disease and cancer.

Photo: Vera Arsic/EyeEm, Getty Images

Oct. 29, 2020, 10:25 a.m.

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