Heavy Smoking Linked to Higher Risk of Brain Bleed
Heavy cigarette smoking has a dose-dependent and cumulative association with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), especially in women, according to the results of a new study.
Women are at a higher risk for SAH than men, but the reasons for this association are unknown. Additionally, previous research has neglected to evaluate the cumulative effects of smoking on this condition.
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To further explore both of these relationships, researchers analyzed data from an ongoing population-based study of 65,521 individuals. Overall, 19% of women and 38% of men reported actively smoking.
During follow-up of 1.38 million person-years, 492 SAHs occurred, 266 of which occurred in women. Smoking had a dose-dependent and cumulative association with risk of SAH in both sexes, with hazard ratios of 8.35 and 2.76 in women smoking more than 20 cigarettes a day and men smoking more than 20 cigarettes a day, respectively. Hazard ratios differed by sex and were higher in women in all cigarette smoking categories.
“Smoking has a dose-dependent and cumulative association with SAH risk, and this risk is highest in female heavy smokers. Vulnerability to smoking seems to explain in part the increased SAH risk in women,” the researchers concluded.
Lindbohm JV, Kaprio J, Jousilahti P, Salomaa V, Korja M. Sex, smoking, and risk for subarachnoid hemorrhage [published online July 21, 2016.] Stroke. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.116.012957.