Light-to-Moderate Cigarette Smoking Increases Women's Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death
February 1, 2013
UnityPoint Health - Des Moines
We've always known smoking is a nasty habit and increases the risk of coronary heart disease. However, new research in Circulation: Arrhythmia & Electrophysiology, an American Heart Association journal, revealed light-to-moderate smokers had nearly two times the risk of sudden cardiac death as their nonsmoking counterparts.
"Cigarette smoking is a known risk factor for sudden cardiac death, but until now, we didn't know how the quantity and duration of smoking effected the risk among apparently healthy women, nor did we have long-term follow-up," said Roopinder K. Sandhu, M.D., M.P.H., the study's lead author and a cardiac electrophysiologist at the University of Alberta's Mazankowski Heart Institute in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Dr. Sandhu went on to share several other findings from the study:
The findings also indicated long-term smokers may be at even greater risk. But quitting smoking can reduce and eliminate the risk over time.
- Women with no history of heart disease, cancer, or stroke who smoked had almost two and a half times the risk of sudden cardiac death compared with healthy women who never smoked.
- For every five years of continued smoking, the risk climbed by 8 percent.
- Among women with heart disease, the risk of sudden cardiac death dropped to that of a nonsmoker within 15 to 20 years after smoking cessation. In the absence of heart disease, there was an immediate reduction in sudden cardiac death risk, occurring in fewer than five years.
If one of your loved ones or you would like to quit smoking, the American Heart Association offers a process for consideration as well as a "No-Smoking Contract. Just click on the following link for more information: Getting Ready To Quit Smoking.
In addition, the CDC publicizes a free telephone support service to help individuals who want to stop smoking or use tobacco. Just call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
At UnityPoint Health - Des Moines, we care about keeping Des Moines heart healthy:
- Heart & Stroke Screenings | Get screened today and find out your current risk for heart disease and/or a stroke. The HeartReach Mobile Lab travels across Iowa to screen for heart
disease and stroke before they become a problem. HeartReach offers heart
and stroke risk assessments, blood pressure tests, blood sugar and
cholesterol levels and body weight measurements and EKG testing. A
cardiovascular nurse will also give patients a personalized analysis of
their risk of heart disease and stroke.
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