Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Smokers Susceptible to More Strokes

Smokers Susceptible to More Strokes

Tuesday, 21 May, 2019 - 05:00
Pupils break cigarettes as a gesture showing their determinations of non-smoking at an elementary school of Jinan, the capital eastern China's Shandong province. (REUTERS/Stringer)
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
Smoking has long been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and serious cardiac events like heart attacks and strokes. But, a Chinese study sheds light on how smoking influences the risk of a second stroke in patients who already had one.

According to Reuters, among the 3,069 stroke survivors in the study, 1,475, or 48 percent, were current smokers and another nine percent were former smokers.

As expected, smokers had a higher risk of a second stroke than people who never smoked at all, even if they managed to quit after their first stroke. However, smokers who did quit after that first stroke were 29 percent less likely to have a second one than people who kept smoking.

All of the patients in the study survived for at least three months after a stroke. Smokers' risk of a repeat stroke rose with the number of daily cigarettes they smoked. Compared to nonsmokers, current smokers who had up to 20 cigarettes a day were 68 percent more likely to have a repeat stroke, while the risk was almost triple for smokers who had more than 40 cigarettes a day.

Dr. Gelin Xu of Nanjing Medical University in Jiangsu, China, and colleagues note in the study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, that their research did not consider the potential for smokers to go through other lifestyle changes when they quit, like improving eating and exercise habits that contributed to a reduced stroke risk.

Editor Picks