tend to suffer heart attacks years earlier than non-smokers, suggests a new
study from Michigan.
more likely to have a heart attack, and will present with a heart attack a
decade or more earlier,” said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a cardiologist at the David
Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, who
wasn’t involved in the new study.
that “you could have a heart attack in the absence of other risk factors
if you smoke.”
from the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor studied about 3,600
people who were hospitalized with a heart attack or unstable angina — pain
caused by low blood flow to the heart that is often a precursor to a heart
current smokers. And on average, they were younger with fewer health problems
than non-smokers with heart trouble.
hospital admission, on average, compared to 55 for male smokers. For female
heart patients, average ages were 70 for non-smokers and 57 for smokers.
other health problems that are linked to heart risks, including high
cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes.
why researchers also found that people who lit up were less likely to die in
the six months following an attack than non-smokers.
the idea that smokers who have a heart attack have better outcomes, including a
lower risk of death, than non-smokers — didn’t last. The difference in death
over the next six months — five percent in male non-smokers, versus three
percent in male smokers, and eight and six percent in female non-smokers and
smokers, respectively — was explained by age and other risk factors.
one more example of the heart dangers posed by smoking, but emphasized that
kicking the habit can erase those extra risks.
and the benefits are very early,” he told Reuters Health.
stopping smoking, there is a reduction in (heart) risk. As time goes by, within
one to two years much of that risk is gone for heart attacks,” he added.
“From a coronary risk standpoint, there is an immediate benefit and that
continues to extend over time.”
American Journal of Cardiology, also showed that female smokers were more
likely than male smokers to have another heart attack or other heart problems
in the next few months after the initial attack or angina.
smoking is a tremendous risk factor for having acute coronary events
(earlier)… and that these risks may be even greater in women than in
men,” Fonarow said.
American Journal of Cardiology, online September 15, 2011