Smoking Plus Family History Ups Stroke Risk from Aneurysm Six-Fold

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
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Those with a family history of stroke from an aneurysm are now found to have a six-fold increase in stroke risk from aneurysm, directly related to smoking.

The new study, published in the American Academy of Neurology, studied 339 people who suffered stroke from aneurysm, a blood vessel weakness that results in brain hemorrhage, leading to stroke. The condition is fatal in thirty-five to forty percent of cases. The researchers also compared 1,016 people who had not had a stroke due to an aneurysm. Half of the stroke groups were current smokers; the other half either quit or never smoked.

The study found that smokers whose family member experienced stroke from aneurysm had a six- fold increase in risk of also having a stroke from aneurysm. The good news is stopping smoking reduced the risk of stroke by fifty percent.

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No effect on stroke risk in the smokers was found in association with other factors such as body weight, alcohol use, diabetes, or blood pressure.

Author Daniel Woo, MD, with the University of Cincinnati in Ohio and member of the American Academy of Neurology says, "While all people should be advised to quit smoking, our findings suggest that there is an interaction so that if you smoke and you have a family history of aneurysms, you are at an extremely high risk of suffering a stroke from a ruptured brain aneurysm."

The newest research is yet another reason to commit to smoking cessation.
Recent statistics from the CDC show that a smoking ban in Pueblo Colorado, decreased hospitalizations from heart attack 41% in three years, even from second-hand smoke. The same results were not found in surrounding areas without smoking bans.
Not only will you help yourself, but also you will be helping others if you commit to stop smoking.

Smoking cessation can be difficult. Prescription medications can be useful, and should discussed with your doctor. Meditation, exercise and stress control can be important for success once you decide to stop smoking. For a guide to smoking cessation see the list of research articles on how to quit smoking.

Sources:
Smokers with Stroke in the Family 6 Times More Likely to Have Stroke Too
Reduced Hospitalizations for Acute Myocardial Infarction After Implementation of a Smoke-Free Ordinance --- City of Pueblo, Colorado, 2002--2006

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Comments

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