There are several important reasons for smokers to kick their habits, and a new study adds yet another one: improving one’s cholesterol profile.
According to a study led by Dr. Adam Gepner of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, quitting smoking leads to an increase of “good cholesterol” levels, despite experiencing weight gain, which is one of its side effects. Through future research, this finding may eventually lead to more in depth understanding regarding the link between smoking and heart health, as shared in a feature by Reuters.
Previous studies were able to determine that smoking results in lower good cholesterol (HDL) levels, and increased bad cholesterol (LDL) levels, according to Dr. Gepner. He and his colleagues recruited more than 1,500 smokers, who represent the various sectors of the current U.S. population, in order to rigorously test the impact of smoking on cholesterol levels. This test population included the high proportion of overweight and obese individuals.
The researchers were able to note that 36 percent of the participants in the study were able to succeed in quitting smoking after a year, using one of five smoking cessation programs. They also noted that those who were able to stop smoking were able to experience an average increase of five percent, or 2.4 mg/dL, in HDL cholesterol levels.
It was also observed that the effects described above were “somewhat stronger” in women. It also appeared that there was no difference in how heavy a smoker the participant was at the beginning of the study; both heavy and light smokers were able to enjoy the same HDL benefit after quitting.