Quitting smoking is always the right choice, at any age, although it is better to do it sooner than later. Closing with this harmful vice has a favorable effect in reducing the values of the C-reactive protein, an important marker of inflammation, even after the age of 50. However, the advantage is not obvious in the short term, but only after several years of smoking cessation. The discovery comes from researchers at the Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori in Milan, and was published in the journal Scientific Reports. We talked about it with Dr. Vanessa Licia Siracusano, oncologist at Humanitas.
The role of the C reactive protein
“The C-reactive protein, or CRP – explains Ugo Pastorino, director of Thoracic Surgery at Int – is an important marker of acute or chronic inflammation, which is associated with a high risk of mortality from chronic lung diseases, cardiovascular and many cancers. This study shows that quitting smoking is useful even after the age of 50, but that it is possible to reduce the risk in those who have a high PCR by acting on other factors that can reduce it, such as some anti-inflammatory drugs, a healthier diet, and regular physical activity.
A favourable effect, but in the long term
The study, conducted on over 3,000 smokers in collaboration with the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in Milan, has definitively clarified that quitting is useful at any age. “In what is the largest prospective study available so far – adds Silvano Gallus, of the Mario Negri Laboratory of Epidemiology of Lifestyles – we have shown that smoking cessation has a favorable, albeit long-term, effect in reducing PCR values. Since it takes several years for PCR to be reduced, the study reiterates the importance of quitting as soon as possible.