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 Post subject: Vices 'combine' to harm the heart
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 2:28 am 
Vices 'combine' to harm the heart

The authors advise smokers quit
Think twice before lighting up during your coffee break because it could do more damage to your heart than either vice alone, according to researchers.
A Greek team Athens Medical School found smoking and caffeine acted together to have a harmful effect on arteries and blood flow.

Scientists have suspected the two might work synergistically rather than having just an additive effect on the heart.

The findings appear in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Risky combination

There is already a large body of evidence about the heart risks associated with smoking.

Some studies have found caffeine can have a detrimental effect on the heart.

Increasingly, researchers have been looking at whether a combination of the two might be even more damaging to the heart.

The current research had two parts - an acute study of the immediate effects of smoking and caffeine in 24 people, and a study that looked at the long-term consequences in 160 people.

In each study, the researchers evaluated the stiffness of the aorta, the body's main artery leading from the heart, and the way blood flowed in the arteries.

It is advisable not to smoke while consuming coffee or other caffeine-containing beverages

Lead author Dr Charalambos Vlachopoulos

These factors give an indication of cardiovascular disease risk.

Smoking and caffeine separately had a negative effect on aortic stiffness and blood flow.

In the acute study, the final impact of the two stimuli was larger than the sum of the separate impacts of the two stimuli alone.

The researchers said other studies had shown smoking and caffeine combined together had an unfavourable effect on blood pressure and increased the risk of heart attacks.

To read more, visit: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3975653.stm

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