Young men- the more you smoke, the more your risk of stroke

By June Shannon Stroke News   |   20th Apr 2018

Men who smoked were 88 per cent more likely to have a stroke than men who never smoked.

Friday 20 April 2018

By June Shannon

A new US study has revealed that young men under the age of 50 who smoke were more likely to have a stroke, and their risk increased with the number of cigarettes they smoked.

For the study researchers examined the relationship between the number of cigarettes smoked and the chances of developing an ischaemic stroke in men under 50.

They studied 615 young men (aged 15-49) who had a stroke in the prior three years. They then compared the men with stroke to 530 healthy men in the same age range and categorised participants as never smokers, former smokers and current smokers.

Current smokers were divided into groups based on the number of cigarettes smoked daily, 1 to 10, 11 to 20, 21 to 39 or 40 or more.

The findings revealed that men who smoked were 88 per cent more likely to have a stroke than men who never smoked and among current smokers, men who smoked fewer than 11 cigarettes daily were 46 per cent more likely to have a stroke than those who never smoked.

The key takeaway from our study on men younger than 50 is ‘the more you smoke, the more you stroke.

Janina Markidan, University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore in the US

However, the heavier smokers, those who were smoking at least two packs a day, were nearly five times, more likely to have a stroke than those who never smoked.

Commenting the lead author of the study Janina Markidan, a medical student from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore in the US said, “the key takeaway from our study on men younger than 50 is ‘the more you smoke, the more you stroke.”

Researchers did not record the concurrent use of other tobacco products which could have affected results. They also did not control for factors such as alcohol consumption, physical activity or recall bias.

“We found a strong dose–response relationship between the number of cigarettes smoked daily and ischemic stroke among young men. Although complete smoking cessation is the goal, even smoking fewer cigarettes may reduce the risk of ischemic stroke in young men,” the researchers concluded.

The study is published in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke.

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