Smoking Shortens Life and Reduces Life Quality

Smoking Shortens Life and Reduces Life Quality

According to a Finnish study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, smoking not only shortens your life it also lowers the quality of life in old age. Dr. Arto Y. Strandberg of the University of Helsinki and colleagues conducted the study on 1658 healthy white men born between 1919 and 1934 and evaluated their cardiovascular risks and their smoking habits.

A re-evaluation of their health was conducted 26 years later through surveys which evaluated their current smoking status, health, and quality of life.
The researchers found that there had been 372 or 22.4 % deaths and the participants who had never smoked lived an average of 10 years longer than those who were heavy smokers and smoked more than 20 cigarettes a day. The survivor’s quality of life was measured using a scale that measures health related quality of life. The study also found that although 68.9 % of the people had quit smoking during the follow up period, 44.1 % of the heavy smokers had died and mortality significantly increased with the numbers of cigarettes smoked to begin with.

One of the most startling discoveries the researchers made was that not only did the life span get shortened with smoking the quality of life also was affected. Almost 70 % of the heavy smokers at the beginning of the study had quit but “those who survived to the mean age of 73 years had a significantly lower physical health-related quality of life than never-smokers.”

David M. Burns, M.D., professor emeritus of family and preventive medicine at the University of California San Diego wrote in an accompanying editorial that smoking remains as one of the biggest avoidable causes of death and disability in the United States. Current estimates put the figure of people who die due to smoking at more than 400,000 people each year. Second hand smoke was also found to be responsible for more people than was previously believed with an estimate of 40,000 people dying annually of cancers, respiratory infections and asthma, which are diagnosed in the case of smokers as well. Smoking also causes conditions such as heart disease and birth defects in children of women who smoke during pregnancy.