The aftermath of smoking: New study uncovers long-term impact on immune system

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WASHINGTON, Feb 18, (Agencies): A recent study reveals that smoking cigarettes can have lasting effects on the immune system, impacting the body’s ability to fight off infections and increasing the risk of chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Published in the journal Nature, the study emphasizes the importance of quitting smoking for long-term immune health.

According to the research, smoking not only hinders the immediate response to infections but also has enduring consequences. Dr Violaine Saint-André, a coauthor of the study and a computational biology specialist at Institut Pasteur in Paris, urged people, especially the youth, to quit smoking as soon as possible. She emphasized the study’s key message that abstaining from smoking is crucial for maintaining long-term immunity.

To reach their conclusions, researchers analyzed blood samples from 1,000 healthy individuals aged 20 to 69, considering over 100 variables such as lifestyle, socioeconomic factors, dietary habits, age, sex, and genetics. By exposing the blood samples to various challenges, the study identified smoking, body mass index, and a latent herpes virus infection as the most significant factors affecting the immune system.

Even for participants who quit smoking during the study, improvements in their immune systems were observed, though full recovery took several years. The study highlighted a correlation between the extent of smoking and the degree of immune system alteration.

As of now, cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable diseases and deaths in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This news has been read 618 times!

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