Study says a stick of cigarette smoke reduces life expectancy by 11 minutes


Emobileclinic Researchers Corner



The risk of dying from complications related to cigarette smoking is higher in HIV positive patient who is also a cigarette smoker according to the findings of researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, whose work was recently published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Several health problems are linked to cigarette smoking. Severe lung diseases, high risk of developing heart diseases and infections such as pneumonia are some of the serious health disorders a smoker is vulnerable to developing. Earlier study has offered that a smoker’s life span is reduced by 11 minutes with each stick of cigarette taken and that smoking from ages 17 to 71 years shortens smoker’s life span by an average of seven years.

An untreated HIV disease condition often results in a more deadly health condition known as AIDS. The moment a patient has HIV, it remains in the body contribution to the inability of the body immune systems to fight any further infections in the body.

At the moment, the available HIV treatments provide palliative protection against the virus which enables people with the virus to live a little longer; however, people with HIV remain particularly vulnerable to the risks of smoking. When compared with other smokers, they are prone to experience: thrush, bacterial pneumonia, heart diseases and stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease amongst others.

The researchers calculated life expectancy of people with HIV disease with the aid of a computer simulation based on whether or not they smoked.

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The results revealed that in people with HIV who used their treatment as expected, smoking reduces their life expectancy by about twice as much as HIV does. In men with HIV, the loss of life expectancy for HIV and for smoking was similar, whether or not they used their treatments as expected.

Male smokers who began HIV treatment at the age of 40 years lose 6.7 years of life expectancy while women lost 6.3 years, compared with those who never smoked. Men who stopped smoking and began treatment at 40 years would regain 5.7 years of life and women with 4.6 years.

It is the believed of the authors that people with HIV who used their treatment as expected but also smoke are highly prone to die of a smoking-related disease than from HIV itself.
According to Dr. Krishna P. Reddy, a person who smokes till the age of 60 years and then stops, he or she will have a significantly increased life expectancy than someone who does not quit. He adds further that “now that HIV-specific medicines are so effective against the virus itself, we also need to add other interventions that could improve and extend the lives of people with HIV.”






Krishna P. Reddy (2016): Impact of cigarette smoking and smoking cessation on life expectancy among people with HIV: A US-based modeling study. Journal of Infectious Diseases, doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiw430

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