Smoking risk for middle aged men

Channel 4 News - 18 September 2009

Middle aged men who smoke, have high blood pressure and raised cholesterol levels may shorten their lives by up to 15 years.

Research published by the British Medical Journal showed improvements in blood pressure and cholesterol levels proportionate with giving up smoking.

The study of 19,000 men aged between 40 and 69 showed their average levels of blood pressure and cholesterol fell by two-thirds when two thirds of those studied gave up smoking.

Those men who smoked and had high blood pressure and raised cholesterol at the age of 50, had their life expectancy cut by ten years compared with men who had none of those risk factors.

When taking into account other risk factors such as diabetes and employment grade, the research showed the 5 per cent of men with lowest scores had their life expectancy cut by 15 years.

The research suggested the government should fund more activities that promote improved heart health to increase life expectancy.

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