Younger female smokers at greater risk of deadly heart attack

July 1, 2019

Smoking is an acquired habit, and while it may cause major heart attacks in men and women who smoke, it has been found to especially affect young women under 50. They risk a more deadly type of heart attack by a whopping 13 times. However, these risks can be eliminated by quitting smoking and so ensure longevity and good health.

Dr. Ever Grech, a Cardiologist at the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, UK, studied five years’ worth of data on patients who came in with an ST elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI), a fatal type of heart attack –some 3,340 data sets were compared to 3 years of information gathered on residents aged 18 or older from the United Kingdom Office for National Statistics.

From this, the researchers determined that female and male smokers were 6.6 times and 4.4 times more likely to have a major heart attack than their nonsmoking counterparts. While a significant increase was noted in women,younger, female smokers saw the highest increase in risk. They were 13.2 times more likely to experience a STEMI compared to male smokers in the same age group (8.6 times) and their nonsmoking counterparts. Better still, the researchers found the risk of a STEMI in women who had quit smoking for at least a month dropped back to that of nonsmokers.

Dr. Grech thinks the increased risk of STEMI in younger women is attributed to the lesser protective effects of the hormone estrogen, overridden by the much more powerful effect of cigarette smoking.

Meanwhile, Dr. Omar Ali, Director of Cardiac Catheterisation at Detroit Medical Center’s Heart Hospital, US, said the study sheds new light on the relationship between women and heart disease. “We need to learn more about how heart disease affects women and how their risk factors change,” he adds.


Category: Health alert

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