Using B-mode ultrasonography, cigarette smoking was found to be a strong, independent risk factor for extracranial carotid atherosclerosis in 1692 black and white men and women admitted for diagnostic evaluation of the carotid arteries. We found that the difference in mean plaque thickness was smaller between past smokers and nonsmokers than between current smokers and nonsmokers, suggesting that the rate of progression of carotid atherosclerosis may be slower in people who quit smoking compared with people who continue to smoke.
Tell GS, Howard G, McKinney WM, Toole JF. Cigarette Smoking Cessation and Extracranial Carotid Atherosclerosis. JAMA. 1989;261(8):1178–1180. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420080098040
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