A new research suggest women smokers are at greater risk of suffering a potentially fatal stroke. Most people already know smoking is a dangerous habit, however, a new study suggests that it may even more dangerous for women. Joni Valdemar Lindbohm, from the University of Helsinki in Finland, and his team spent twenty one years analyzing the data of 65, 521 smoking adults.
The research, published which was published in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke, found that the more cigarettes a woman smokes the greater her risk of a subarachnoid hemorrhage (bleeding inside the lining of the brain). Which is responsible for one in every twenty strokes in the United Kingdom. Strokes are caused when a brain aneurysm burst, usually during any type of physical effort, including sex or coughing.
In the case of female smokers, even light smokers have an elevated risk. Women who smoke socially (between one to 10 cigarettes per day) were 2.95 times more likely to have subarachnoid hemorrhage compared to those who did not.
On the other hand, men who smoked the same quantity were only 1.93 times more likely of having bleeding. In contrast, those women who were heavier smokers (between 11 and 20 cigarettes daily) were 3.89 times more likely to face the hemorrhage, while men were 2.13 times more likely.
Finally, women who were truly heavy smokers, (up to a pack and a half) were more than 8.35 times likely to develop subarachnoid hemorrhage, compared with men, who were 2.76 times more likely to have one. However, it is not all bad news. Those men and women who quit smoking can find themselves having the same risk as non-smokers, which means they significantly reduced their likelihood of suffering from subarachnoid hemorrhage.
According to Dr. Valdemar, just being part of the female sex is considered an independent risk factor for subarachnoid hemorrhage. This coupled up with the fact that smoking has a “dose-dependent and cumulative association” with this type of hemorrhage, may help explain why the risk is higher with female smokers.
“Our results suggest that age, sex and lifestyle risk factors play a critical role in predicting which patients are at risk for subarachnoid hemorrhage and emphasize the importance of effective smoking cessation strategies”, stated Lindbohm.
However, the scientist still noted that through the course of the years the participants’ smoking behavior could have changed, and that high cholesterol, medication for high blood pressure and alcohol consumption could have affected results.
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What are the other risks of smoking?
Subarachnoid hemorrhage is not the only risk regular smokers’ face nationwide. According to current statistics, cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year only in the United States.
The vice is not only the primary cause of lung cancer, it also linked to coronary heart disease, makes blood pressure go up and causes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In women, smoking increases risks for stillbirths, preterm delivery, sudden infant death syndrome and ectopic pregnancy.