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Smoking found to reduce mobility

25th August 2014

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

Recent research has found that smoking can significantly reduce mobility. The Miriam Hospital in Rhode Island has found that smokers under 65 are more likely to suffer reduced mobility than non-smokers, suggesting that smokers are more likely to become reliant on mobility aids at a younger age than their non-smoking peers.

The research also found that smokers with mobility impairments who were reliant on mobility aids from stairlift manufacturers were less likely to attempt quitting smoking than those who did not suffer from mobility difficulty.

“The majority of the population will experience physical disability”

The research proved particularly concerning as lead researcher Belinda Borrelli, Ph.D. stated, as reported in this article, that the majority of the population will experience physical disability, "People with physical disabilities constitute 16.2 percent of the population and the majority of the population will experience physical disability at some point during their lifetime". However, she went on to say that “the prevalence of smoking among people with disabilities was unknown prior to our paper.”

While the report comes from the USA, the research holds some relevance to the condition of our own society, where it is hoped that British residents will take heed of such statistics as ‘Among 45 to 64 year olds with mobility impairments, 31.2 percent were smokers versus 20.7 percent without mobility impairments.’

The report by Borelli, of The Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at The Miriam Hospital, looked into the risks of smoking on individuals with mobility impairments and the health risks among such individuals in comparison with the greater public.

The analysis was conducted on a total of 13,308 adults between the ages of 21 and 85 who struggled with their mobility and were reliant on special ambulatory equipment such as motorised rise and recliner chairs or were unable to walk a quarter of a mile without equipment. The research offers further evidence on the importance of giving up smoking, where the habit can cause any number of health concerns, particularly in mobility if the findings of this research are to be believed.

Image Credit: francois karm (flickr.com)

This content was written by Emily Bray. Please feel free to visit my Google + profile to read more stories.