There are new discovered health hazards associated with tobacco use.
Photo: openverse.org by lindsay-fox is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Telomeres are repeated sequences of DNA that play an important role in the body’s biological processes. However, with each cycle of cell division, telomeres become shorter. When they become too short, the cell can no longer divide and eventually undergoes programmed cell death or apoptosis. This process plays a key role in controlling age and preventing cells from multiplying uncontrollably, which can lead to cancer.
Scientific research shows that smoking status and the number of cigarettes smoked can lead to shortening of telomeres in white blood cells. This indicator is an indicator of the processes of self-healing, regeneration and aging of tissues.
Previous studies have indicated an effect of smoking on telomere length in white blood cells, but this effect has not been quantified.
In the latest study, researchers determined whether participants were smokers, ex-smokers or non-smokers, and also examined smoking addiction levels and the number of cigarettes smoked. The participants’ telomere length was measured using blood.
Mendelian randomization, which uses variations in inherited genes, has been used to understand how modifiable environmental factors can influence health status.
“We found a statistically significant association between current smoking status and telomere shortening in white blood cells. Former smokers and never smokers did not experience such shortening. Former smokers tended to have telomere shortening, but this was not statistically significant “We also found significant shortness of telomeres in people who smoked more cigarettes,” the Hong Kong researchers noted.
The researchers concluded that smoking can cause telomere shortening in white blood cells, and this shortening effect increases with the number of cigarettes smoked. It is hoped that these results will encourage increased support and availability of treatments for those who decide to kick the habit.
Clinicians emphasize the importance of incorporating smoking cessation support and treatment into daily clinical practice, as quitting smoking has significant health benefits.
Previously we wrotethat aging is also accelerated by certain types of chocolates.
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