Women who are light smokers—light smoking defined as one or more cigarettes per day—are twice as likely to perish of sudden heart death than their non-smoking counterparts, says a study published in the journal of the American Heart Association (December 10).
The study, which surveyed 100,000 women over a 30 year period, found that those who smoked lightly (1-14) or moderately (15-24) showed a nearly 2.5 greater risk of sudden cardiac death, while those who smoked 25 or more cigs per day showed a 3.3-fold increased risk. After quitting 15 to 20 years later, the risk declined.
"Sudden cardiac death is often the first sign of heart disease among women, so lifestyle changes that reduce that risk are particularly important," Dr. Roopinder Sandhu, the study's lead author, said in a statement. "Quitting smoking before heart disease develops is critical."
Sudden cardiac death is the leading cause of natural death in the United States.
by RTT Staff Writer
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