Teenagers who smoke or consume alcohol have much stiffer arteries than those who don’t, putting them on the path to heart disease and stroke

The arteries of teenagers who binge drink or smoke are already stiffer by the age of 17 than in those who abstain, new research has revealed.

Arterial stiffness indicates damage to the blood vessels. Research in older adults has previously shown that the stiffening of arteries is linked to heart and circulatory disease and an increased risk of events such as heart attack or stroke. While our arteries stiffen as we age, it is known that a host of behaviours are linked to the effect, including cigarette smoking and excessive drinking.

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