Second-hand smoke increases the risk of stroke by about 30% for nonsmokers, a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine has found.
Risk of stroke is increased by inhaling second-hand smoke
Investigators also found that even after adjustment for other stroke factors such as hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease, the 30% risk for nonsmokers remained.
The finding was done using data from the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study, a national, population-based, longitudinal study investigating cardiovascular disease events and mortality endpoints among white and African American adults aged greater than 45 years.
The current study included almost 22,000 participants (38% African American, 45% male) with 23%reporting SHS exposure in the past year.
428 strokes were also reported during the period of April 2003 to March 2012.
A further analysis of the type of stroke (ischemic vs. hemorrhagic) was performed and showed that most strokes were due to blockage of blood flow to the brain (352 ischemic, 50 hemorrhagic, and 26 strokes of unknown subtype).
It was also found that a combination of smoking and giving birth preterm can more than triple the risk of cardiovascular disease faced by mothers.
The study authors wanted to find out whether the coexistence of smoking and preterm birth would combine to result in further increases in maternal cardiovascular disease risk.
While smoking is recognized as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), women are particularly dissuaded against it if they become pregnant.
In addition to the usual risks, smoking can expose babies to harmful chemicals while in the womb, hinder growth and increase the risk of preterm birth and certain postbirth health problems.
Preterm birth is also known to increase the risk of CVD, with previous studies revealing that women with a history of preterm birth have a 1.2-4 times higher risk of CVD than women who have term babies.
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