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Quitting smoking leads to major heart health benefits

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Smokers who have unhealthy cholesterol levels may benefit from quitting their habit. A recent study found that ridding the body of nicotine helps raise levels of HDL, or good cholesterol, according to WebMD Health News.

Cigarette smoking is known to contribute to high blood pressure and other measures that may contribute to heart disease. However, this is among the first studies to show that quitting smoking can lead to a direct improvement in this important aspect of cardiovascular health.

For the study, researchers from the University of Wisconsin took a range of health measurements of nearly 1,000 people, according to the news source. They found that, despite significant weight, individuals who quit smoking were able to increase their HDL by 2.4 milligrams per deciliter of blood, which a major improvement compared to those who continued to smoke.

Researchers told the news source that there may have been a similar decrease in LDL - or bad cholesterol - had the individuals who quit not gained as much weight as they did.

The American Heart Association says that smoking has a tendency to lower HDL and increases blood clotting, making it one of the worst things a person can do to their heart.

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