Alcohol consumption and frequent smoking can cause significant health damage in young teenagers.


By the age of 17, these unhealthy habits can already greatly impact the condition of their vital arteries.


This has been proven by a recent study published in the European Heart Journal. Researchers examined over 1,200 participants from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, and the results were shocking.


Over a four year span, volunteers were asked questions regarding alcohol use and smoking status at the ages of 13, 15, and 17, specifically focusing on frequency and intensity.


The study’s conductors then assessed the teenagers arteries as their bodies matured, looking for any correlating harm.


After analysing the gathered data, researchers found that those who smoked over 100 cigarettes or were prone to binge drinking had stiffened arteries.



On the other hand, those who smoked less than 20 cigarettes or had fewer than two drinks a day had healthier arteries.


The study found that smoking exposure, even at low levels, and intensity of alcohol use are associated with increased arterial stiffness.


However, this detrimental effect can be reversed during adolescence as well.


The leading author of the report, Professor John Deanfield from the UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science, commented:


“We also found that if teenagers stopped smoking and drinking during adolescence, their arteries returned to normal - suggesting that there are opportunities to preserve arterial health from a young age."


This gives hope to young people who have developed these harmful habits, demonstrating that they can regain prior arterial health.


Researchers urged that public health strategies be implemented in today’s society to prevent adoption of these habits in adolescence and preserve young people’s health.