Quitting smoking results in a major reduction in inflammatory markers associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease, a new study finds.
Previous studies had linked smoking with inflammation in the body; the new study, however, shows quitting cuts the risk of developing heart and lung disease.
According to the study published in Chest, a decline in the levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF), C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 and two related substances was reported a few weeks after the studied women stopped smoking.
"Quantifiable information reflecting cardiovascular health may act as positive reinforcement for those trying to quit and remain smoke free," scientists reported.
Researchers urged physicians to encourage smokers at risk of heart disease to abandon the habit to improve their cardiovascular health.