If quitting smoking is one of your New Year’s resolutions, you might want to consider cutting back on your drinking too, a study has found.
The study found that heavy alcohol drinkers who are trying to stop smoking may find that reducing their alcohol intake can also help them quit their daily smoking habit.
In addition, heavy drinkers’ nicotine metabolite ratio — a biomarker that indicates how quickly a person’s body metabolises nicotine — reduced as they cut back on their drinking.
Slowing a person’s nicotine metabolism rate through reduced drinking could provide an edge when trying to stop smoking, which is known to be a difficult task, said lead researcher Sarah Dermody, Assistant Professor at the Oregon State University in the US.
“It takes a lot of determination to quit smoking, often several attempts,” Dermody said.
For the study, the researchers considered a small group of daily smokers to study the nicotine metabolite ratio, the medical term for severe problem drinking.
The findings, published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research, showed that as the men in the study group reduced their drinking — from an average of 29 drinks per week to seven — their nicotine metabolite rate also dropped.
Heart patients, please take note, here’s a new health news. Researchers have found that heart attack survivors who carry excess fat around their waist are at increased risk of another heart attack.
“Abdominal obesity not only increases your risk for a first heart attack or stroke, but also the risk for recurrent events after the first misfortune,” said study author Hanieh Mohammadi from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.
Prior studies have shown that abdominal obesity is an important risk factor for having a first heart attack. But until now, the association between abdominal obesity and the risk of a subsequent heart attack or stroke was unknown.
The research, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, followed more than 22,000 patients after their first heart attack and investigated the relation between abdominal obesity (measured by waist circumference) and the risk for recurrent cardiovascular disease events. The researchers specifically looked at events caused by clogged arteries, such as fatal and non-fatal heart attack and stroke.
Patients were recruited from the nationwide SWEDEHEART registry and followed for a median of 3.8 years. Most patients — 78 per cent of men and 90 per cent of women — had abdominal obesity (waist circumference 94 cm or above for men and 80 cm or above for women).
Increasing abdominal obesity was independently associated with fatal and non-fatal heart attacks and strokes, regardless of other risk factors (such as smoking, diabetes, hypertension, blood pressure, blood lipids and body mass index [BMI]) and secondary prevention treatments. According to the researchers, waist circumference was a more important marker of recurrent events than overall obesity.
The reason abdominal obesity is very common in patients with a first heart attack is that it is closely linked with conditions that accelerate the clogging of arteries through atherosclerosi, the researchers said. These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar and insulin resistance (diabetes) as well as raised blood lipid levels.
“Our results, however, suggest that there may be other negative mechanisms associated with abdominal obesity that are independent of these risk factors and remain unrecognised,” Mohammadi said.
“In our study, patients with increasing levels of abdominal obesity still had a raised risk for recurrent events despite being on therapies that lower traditional risk factors connected with abdominal obesity such as anti-hypertensives, diabetes medication and lipid lowering drugs,” she added.
According to the study, the relationship between waist circumference and recurrent events was stronger and more linear in men.
“There were three times as many men in the study compared to women, contributing to less statistical power in the female group. Therefore, more studies are needed before definite conclusions can be drawn according to gender,” Mohammadi noted. (IANS)