Lung cancer risk ‘drops dramatically within five years of quitting smoking’. But after 25 years risk is still higher than for people who never smoked.
The risk of getting lung cancer drops dramatically within five years of quitting smoking, research suggests.
Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in the US analysed the Framingham Heart Study, which looked at 8,907 people who had been followed for 25 to 34 years.
During this period, 284 lung cancers were diagnosed, nearly 93% of which occurred among heavy smokers – those who had smoked at least a pack of cigarettes a day for 21 years or more.
Five years after quitting, the risk of developing lung cancer in former heavy smokers dropped by 39% compared to current smokers, and continued to fall as time went on.
However, even 25 years after quitting, their lung cancer risk remained over threefold higher compared to people who had never smoked.
Author Hilary Tindle, professor of medicine at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, said: “The fact that lung cancer risk drops relatively quickly after quitting smoking, compared to continuing smoking, gives new motivation.”
This article was first published in HI Daily. You can see the original article here.