Women who Smoke were at a higher Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death

Stethoscope - BSN

(Best Syndication News) - Women who smoke moderately are at a significantly higher risk than non-smokers to succumb to sudden cardiac death, according to a new study. The researchers reported their findings in the American Heart Association Journal, Circulation: Arrhythmia & Electrophysiology.

The risk factor for sudden cardiac death may even be higher in women who have smoked for a long time. However, over time, the risk factor could be reduced or eliminated by quitting the habit.

The study’s lead author, Roopinder K. Sandhu, M.D., M.P.H., a cardiac electrophysiologist at the University of Alberta's Mazankowski Heart Institute in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, said that previous research has identified the risk for sudden cardiac death. In this new research, they wanted to determine the risk factor based on the quantity and duration of smoking. Sandhu and colleagues wanted to compare the risk factor to healthy women.

To investigate, the researchers looked at 101,000 healthy women from the Nurses’ Health Study, which has been questioning female nurses since 1976. The information dates back to 1980 and there were 30 years of follow-up. On average, most nurses who said they smoked had started in their late teen years.

The researchers identified 351 participants who died from sudden cardiac death. The light-to-moderate smokers (1-14 cigarettes per day) were at almost two time’s higher risk for sudden cardiac death compared to those who were non-smokers. Overall, otherwise healthy women that smoked were at almost two and one half times higher risk for sudden cardiac death compared to those who never smoked. The longer the women smoked the higher risk for sudden cardiac death; risk increased by 8 percent for every five years of persistent smoking.

Women who had heart disease and quit smoking for 15 to 20 years had their sudden cardiac death risk drop to the levels of a nonsmoker. If the women did not have heart disease and they stopped smoking, the sudden cardiac death risk dropped down to nonsmoker levels in less than five years.

By: Marsha Quinn
Health Reporter

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Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association's policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.



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