Smokers with High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol Lose 10 Years

Posted on September 18, 2009  Comments (6)

By examining data from the Whitehall Study researchers have found smokers with high blood pressure and high cholesterol in middle age died 10 years earlier than the others after reaching age 50. This is independent of changes after later in life (quiting smoking, etc.). Life expectancy in relation to cardiovascular risk factors: 38 year follow-up of 19,000 men in the Whitehall study

At entry, 42% of the men were current smokers, 39% had high blood pressure, and 51% had high cholesterol. At the re-examination, about two thirds of the previously “current” smokers had quit smoking shortly after entry and the mean differences in levels of those with high and low levels of blood pressure and cholesterol were attenuated by two thirds. Compared with men without any baseline risk factors, the presence of all three risk factors at entry was associated with a 10 year shorter life expectancy from age 50 (23.7 v 33.3 years). Compared with men in the lowest 5% of a risk score based on smoking, diabetes, employment grade, and continuous levels of blood pressure, cholesterol concentration, and body mass index (BMI), men in the highest 5% had a 15 year shorter life expectancy from age 50 (20.2 v 35.4 years).

Conclusion Despite substantial changes in these risk factors over time, baseline differences in risk factors were associated with 10 to 15 year shorter life expectancy from age 50.

Another conclusion: if you don’t want to live a shorter life, don’t smoke. Not a new idea but given how many people continue to smoke it seems some don’t understand this conclusion.

Related: Global Cancer Deaths to Double by 2030Leading Causes of Deathmore posts on open access papersStudy Finds Obesity as Teen as Deadly as Smoking

6 Responses to “Smokers with High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol Lose 10 Years”

  1. Rok Mejak
    September 19th, 2009 @ 11:40 am

    Huh this article got me thinking. Maybe I should quit smoking and eating unhealthy food. Do you have any ideas or resources where I could find more info on this subject?

    Otherwise thank you for the warning.

  2. Neha
    October 7th, 2009 @ 4:18 am

    Thats like a double whammy for smokers!
    Smoking is the unhealthiest activity to be addicted to.

  3. Anonymous
    October 9th, 2009 @ 5:25 am

    Thanks a lot for Whitehall Study researchers. One of my friend is smoking daily 10 t0 15 cigarettes. I will send this post to my friend so that he may control himself.

  4. Anonymous
    November 16th, 2009 @ 9:27 pm

    I’d like to clarify one issue with this. High cholesterol is a sign of inflammation in the body, most often from gut dysfunction and overconsumption of processed carbohydrates and sugar.

    Smoking is also a source of inflammation to the body which does make things worse and is not healthy. But high cholesterol and blood pressure are symptoms of an even bigger problem. I have helped many people get their cholesterol in control simply by improving their diet alone.

    Smoking kills yes, but poor dietary choices kills faster.

  5. kamagra
    June 21st, 2010 @ 8:57 am

    I used to smoke occasionally. After reading this i am going to quit my smoking habit. Thanks for sharing friend.

  6. Tracy
    March 25th, 2013 @ 11:58 am

    I used to be a smoker from the age of 13yrs old (I am now 52 – female) and stopped smoking 12 years ago on my 40th birthday. Without a doubt I have seen a definite improvement in my skin, my voice (which was beginning to sound gruff – almost male) and my health, I no longer get breathless climbing the stairs! I can only say keep up the good work and you do right trying to influence smokers to quit!

Leave a Reply