A healthy lifestyle may help former smokers lower their risk of death from all causes
Former smokers who stick to a healthy lifestyle have a lower risk of dying from all causes than those who don’t engage in healthy habits, according to a new study by researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health. The reduced risk of dying was observed for specific causes, including cancer and heart and lung diseases. Lifestyle interventions have not been robustly studied in former smokers, and these new findings could have important implications for the 52 million former smokers in the United States.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle — defined as doing things such as being physically active and having a healthy diet — was associated with a 27% reduction in the risk of death over the 19-year follow-up period, compared with not maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The findings, which appeared Sept. 22, 2022, in JAMA Network Open, come from an analysis of a large group of former smokers who participated in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study.
“I was surprised to see the robust associations [with lifestyle],” said Maki Inoue-Choi, Ph.D., of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at NCI, lead author of the paper. “Former smokers who adhered to evidence-based recommendations for body weight, diet, physical activity, and alcohol intake had a lower risk of mortality than former smokers who didn't adhere to these recommendations.”
This page was last updated on Monday, October 10, 2022