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The World in Medicine
October 14, 1998

It's Never Too Late

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JAMA. 1998;280(14):1216. doi:10.1001/jama.280.14.1216-JWM80007-6-1

Even for people past the age of 65 years, giving up cigarettes can reduce the risk of dying from tobacco-related diseases.

Researchers at the Institut Municipal d'Investigacio Medica in Barcelona, Spain, tracked health status and causes of death in 477 men aged 65 years or older for 8 years. They found that smokers had twice the risk of dying early as nonsmokers; the risk of death was 50% higher in former smokers than in those who had never smoked. But in the men who quit smoking after the age of 65 years, the relative risk of dying was reduced by 25% compared with those who continued to smoke.

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