Research Alert

How Many Years After Quitting Heavy Smoking Until Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Similar to Not Having Ever Smoked?



Media advisory: To contact corresponding author Meredith S. Duncan, M.A., email Craig Boerner at The full study and editor’s note are linked to this news release.

Embed this link to provide your readers free access to the full-text article This link will be live at the embargo time:


Bottom Line: An analysis of Framingham Heart Study data examined the association of the time between quitting smoking and new cases of cardiovascular disease (CVD). This analysis included nearly 8,800 individuals, including 2,371 heavy smokers who smoked 20 or more pack-years, which is equal to smoking one pack of cigarettes daily for 20 years. Over an average follow-up of 26 years, 2,435 first CVD events (heart attack, stroke, heart failure or cardiovascular death) occurred in the entire group, with 1,095 among heavy smokers. The authors report quitting smoking was associated with lower risk of CVD within five years for former heavy smokers compared with current smokers but their risk remained higher for 10 to 15 years after cessation compared with people who never smoked. Limitations of the study include its smaller sample size compared to some previous studies, and participants in the study were primarily white individuals of European ancestry, potentially limiting the generalizability of the findings to others.

Authors: Meredith S. Duncan, M.A., Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, and coauthors



Editor’s Note: The article includes conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

#  #  #

For more information, contact JAMA Network Media Relations at 312-464-JAMA (5262) or email mediarelations

Register for reporter access to contact details