Teens Who Drink And Smoke Show Signs Of Stiff Arteries By The Age Of 17

New research has suggested that teens who drink and smoke, even if only occasionally, show signs of stiff arteries by the age of 17.

The study which spoke to teens about their smoking and drinking habits at 13, 15 and 17 years-old found that smoking and drinking alcohol in your youth, even at low levels, was associated with increased arterial stiffness, but stopping during adolescence could restore arterial health.

What are stiff arteries?

Stiff arteries or ‘atherosclerosis’ is a condition where arteries become clogged with fatty substances called plaques, or atheroma.

These plaques cause the arteries to harden and narrow, restricting the blood flow and oxygen supply to vital organs, and increasing the risk of blood clots that could potentially block the flow of blood to the heart or brain.

Atherosclerosis doesn’t tend to have any symptoms at first, and many people may be unaware they have it, but it can eventually cause life-threatening problems such as heart attacks and strokes if it gets worse.

Making healthy lifestyle changes can reduce your risk of developing stiff arteries and may help stop it from getting worse.


The main ways you can reduce your risk are:


For smoking and tobacco resources visit: 

https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/schools/topics/rise-above/resources

http://www.quit.org.uk/quit-school-resource/

http://breathe2025.org.uk/resources/

http://www.gasp.org.uk/

http://ash.org.uk/home/

For alcohol resources visit: 

https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/press/drinkaware-launches-new-alcohol-education-resources-for-schools/

http://alcoholeducationtrust.org/

https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/schools/resources/alcohol-lesson-plan-pack

 

 

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