Why Smoking Is Worse For Young Women
Regardless of age, smoking raises the risk of heart attack in both men and women, but a new study shows a significantly higher risk for women smokers younger than 50. Significantly, the type of heart attack investigated involves a complete blockage of one of the main coronary arteries and is considered the most life-threatening form of heart disease. Earlier research linked smoking to 50 percent of these cases, the British researchers who conducted the study noted. They found that smoking increased the risk of these heart attacks in all the patients studied, regardless of age or gender, but was higher among women than men in every age group. Even more concerning, women smokers between the ages of 18 and 49 had a 13 times higher risk of major heart attacks than non-smoking women in the same age range. The increased risk among male smokers of comparable age was 8.6 times higher than it was among non-smoking young men. The good news: the heart attack risk begins to reverse when someone stops smoking, and possibly returns to that of a never smoker within a month of quitting.
Ever D. Grech et al, “Differential Risk of ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction in Male and Female Smokers,” Journal of the American College of Cardiology, July 2019, DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2019.03.525
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