the risk of
coronary artery disease in people who have
high cholesterol and other diseases that increase the
risk of heart disease, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
Cigarette smoking lowers HDL ("good") cholesterol. It also injures the
lining of the blood vessels and increases the risk of developing blood clots,
which contributes to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Even inhaling
others' cigarette smoke (secondhand smoke) has been shown to lower HDL
Studies have shown that HDL levels often go up soon
after a person quits smoking. For information on how to quit, see the topic
September 11, 2012
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& Carl Orringer, MD - Cardiology, Clinical Lipidology
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