Tobacco smoking makes you old before your time..

October 15, 2008 - As individuals increase the number of cigarettes smoked per day, health-related quality of life tends to deteriorate, according to a Finnish study published in the October issue of Archives of Internal Medicine. Researchers also found that health-related quality of life decreased even in people who eventually quit smoking.

Research Paper: The Effect of Smoking in Midlife on Health-Related Quality of Life in Old Age: A 26-Year Prospective Study; Arto Y. Strandberg; Timo E. Strandberg; Kaisu Pitkälä; Veikko V. Salomaa; Reijo S. Tilvis; Tatu A. Miettinen; Archives of Internal Medicine (2008). 168(18):1968-1974. ABSTRACT..

To investigate smoking's effects on quality of life, Arto Y. Strandberg, M.D. (University of Helsinki) and colleagues studied 1,658 white men who were born between 1919 and 1934. The men were considered healthy during an assessment in 1974 and received follow-up surveys in 2000 that asked about their current smoking status, health, and quality of life. The researchers used the Finnish national register to track deaths in the sample.

By the year 2000, 22.4% (372 men) had died. Heavy smokers - those who consumed more than 20 cigarettes per day - lived about 10 years less than never-smokers. Participants who never smoked had the best scores on all health-related quality of life measures and the highest scores on measures associated with physical functioning. As the number of cigarettes smoked per day increased, physical health became worse at an increasing rate. Further, heavy smokers experienced a decline in physical health that is similar to 10 years of aging.

"Although many smokers had quit smoking between the baseline investigation in 1974 and the follow-up examination in 2000, the effect of baseline smoking status on mortality and the quality of life in old age remained strong," write Arto Strandberg, M.D. and colleagues. "In all, the results presented here are troubling for those who were smoking more than 20 cigarettes daily 26 years earlier; in spite of the 68.9 percent cessation rate during follow-up, 44.1 percent of the originally heavy smokers had died, and those who survived to the mean [average] age of 73 years had a significantly lower physical health-related quality of life than never-smokers."

Reference: Quality Of Life In Older Age Negatively Impacted By Smoking During Younger Years, Peter M Crosta, Medical News Today, 10/14/2007.

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Smoking results in rapid aging of your skin - lots of wrinkles.