A few days ago I was reading an article on the Medscape. It was about the study result of the participants in the ALSPAC (Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children). The study researchers examined the data of the 1600 participants at age 17-24 years. This study measured the arterial stiffness of a group of people. The arteries are one kind of blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the distal part of our body. The data showed that the stiffness of the arteries was increased with the increased level of drinking alcohol and increased intensity of smoking. Meaning, those who drank more alcohol and smoked more cigarettes per day, their arterial stiffness was more!
this image is from pxfuel
Stiffness of the blood vessels (e.g. arteries) is found in association with various cardiovascular diseases such as stroke, heart attack, hypertension etc. Usually, at old age, the arteries become stiff gradually. At a younger age, there shouldn't be such stiffness. Here, this study shows that due to certain lifestyles, stiffness of the arteries can take place at a much younger age. One good news the study authors shared also. Among the past smokers and non-smokers, there were no changes in the stiffness. Meaning, with the cession of smoking, the changes may reverse to the pre-smoking stage.
Once a habit grows, it is difficult to give up. A drinking and smoking habit that starts during a teenage period usually persists in the latter part of life. Drinking a certain amount of alcohol may have some health benefits (according to the medical books), but smoking has no such thing. What can guarantee that a drinker won’t increase his/her level of drinking in the latter part of their life? So, the best solution is “Avoid these habits”.
[Reblogged from here with some modification and correction]