Smoking Linked To Sudden Cardiac DeathMain Category: Smoking / Quit Smoking
Also Included In: Cardiovascular / Cardiology | Heart Disease
Article Date: 12 Dec 2012
Light-to-moderate smoking can raise the risk of sudden cardiac death for women considerably, by as much as 8% for every five years of smoking, researchers reported in the journal Circulation: Arrhythmia & Electrophysiology.
The authors added that as the risk grows with time, those in the most danger are long-term smokers. However, as soon as somebody quits, their chances of sudden cardiac death start falling.
Lead author, Roopinder K. Sandhu, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of Alberta's Mazankowski Heart Institute in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, said:
"Cigarette smoking is a known risk factor for sudden cardiac death, but until now, we didn't know how the quantity and duration of smoking effected the risk among apparently healthy women, nor did we have long-term follow-up."
The research team, from Alberta University, Harvard Medical School, and Brigham and Women's Hospital, gathered and assessed data on sudden cardiac death from the Nurse's Health Study involving 101,000 healthy females. The survey collected information twice a year from nurses throughout the USA from 1976, and includes 30 years' worth of follow-up data. Most of the nurses were Caucasian and aged from 30 to 55 years when the study began. Most of the regular smokers had started during their late teenage years.
During the follow-up period, 351 women died of sudden cardiac death.
Female smokers have a much higher risk of sudden cardiac death
Below are some highlighted data the researchers discovered regarding smoking and sudden cardiac death:
About sudden cardiac deathSudden cardiac death occurs when the heart suddenly ceases to function properly - usually the heart stops completely within minutes.
Sudden cardiac death is most commonly defined as an unexpected death due to heart (cardiac) problems - the person dies within one hour from the start of any heart-related symptoms.
Sudden cardiac death is the main cause of heart-related deaths, and is responsible for between 300,000 and 400,000 deaths in the USA annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Experts from The Mayo Clinic wrote that heart attack survivors face the greatest risk of sudden cardiac death during the first thirty days after being discharged from hospital.
"Sudden cardiac death is often the first sign of heart disease among women, so lifestyle changes that reduce that risk are particularly important. Our study shows that cigarette smoking is an important modifiable risk factor for sudden cardiac death among all women. Quitting smoking before heart disease develops is critical."
How to reduce sudden cardiac death riskThe risk of sudden cardiac death can be reduced by adopting several lifestyle habits, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, reported in the June 2011 issue of JAMA.
The authors explained that over half of all cardiac deaths in the USA are cases of sudden cardiac death.
The following lifestyle choices, if adopted, can significantly reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death:
Smoking not only linked to sudden cardiac deathRegular smoking raises the risk of:
Copyright: MediLexicon International Ltd
Original article posted on Medical News Today.
Articles not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today