Women's Heart Advisor January 2009 Issue

Research Shows... Smoking Doubles the Risk of Stroke

Two packs a day increase it nine-fold.

There’s no such thing as a safe number of cigarettes. A study published in the Aug. 15 issue of the journal Stroke found that the risk of stroke climbs with every cigarette a woman puffs. And while the connection between smoking and stroke risk is not new, the relation between dose and stroke found in this study was alarming. The study involved 466 women ages 16 to 48 who had suffered a stroke and 604 women in the same age group who had not. They were classified as smokers, former smokers or nonsmokers. The researchers found that smoking any cigarettes at all doubled the risk of stroke. Compared to women who had never smoked, women who smoked 21 to 39 cigarettes per day were 4.3 times as likely to have a stroke and those who smoked at least two packs a day were 9.1 times as likely to suffer a stroke.

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