Research | Women Smokers More Likely Than Men to Suffer Heart Disease

Image: Georgina Stojiljkovic | Andrea Klarin | Elle Serbia May 2011

Women smokers face greater heart risk Global Post 8/11/11

The cigarette industry is eager to market cigarettes to young women in developing countries, even though an August 2011 analysis of data on four million people concluded that female smokers are at greater risk of heart disease.

Dr Rachel Huxley from the University of Minnesota and Dr Mark Woodward from Johns Hopkins University concluded that the risk of heart disease linked to smoking was 25 percent higher for women.  Women smokers already have double the risk of lung cancer, compared to men.

Avoid Cigarettes Upon Awakening

Early Morning Smokers Have Increased Risk of Lung, Head and Neck Cancers, Study Finds Science Daily 8/8/11

The lung cancer analysis included 4,775 lung cancer cases and 2,835 controls, all of whom were regular cigarette smokers. Compared with individuals who smoked more than 60 minutes after waking, individuals who smoked 31 to 60 minutes after waking were 1.31 times as likely to develop lung cancer, and those who smoked within 30 minutes were 1.79 times as likely to develop lung cancer.

Smoking & DNA

Surgeon General Says All Smoking Damages Body’s DNA 12/9/2010

In a reports on smoking released today by the US Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, Americans are told that there is no safe level of exposure to cigarette smoke. The report “How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease” states that even the smallest amount of tobacco smoke can damage one’s DNA immediately.

The report draws six conclusions:

1) Even brief exposre to secondhand smoke can cause cardiovascular disease and could trigger acute cardiac events, such as a heart attack.

2) In haling tobacco smoke can cause cancer, cardiovascular disease and lung disease. The free radicals in cigarette smoke cause inflammation and oxidative stress, damaging cells, tissues and organs.

3) The likelihood of getting a smoking-related disease — and its severity — are directly related to level of exposure and duration.

4) Tobacco products are powerfully addictive.

5) There is insufficient evidence that lowering the emissions of the most toxic ingredients in cigarettes will reduce the risk of disease.

5) Even low levels of exposure to smoking or second-hand smoke can damage and inflame the lining of blood vessels, which ontributes to blood clots, heart attacks and strokes.

In 2009, Congress passed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gave the FDA authority to regulate tobacco products and tobacco advertising. via LA Times

Smoking, Women & Peripheral Artery Disease

Smoking, Even for a Short Time, Significantly Increases a Woman’s Risk for Peripheral Artery Disease, Study Finds Science Daily 6/9/11

A longitudinal study of 38,825 initially-healthy women aged 45 and over found that smoking is a ‘a potent risk factor for symptomatic periheral artery disease, or PAD.

PAD is a serious, often debilitating disorder, caused by narrowing of the arteries in the lower extremities. Symptoms of PAD include pain in the legs with normal activity and a feeling of tiredness in the leg muscles. Women who smoked had a 10-fold increase in likelihood of getting PAD.

Stopping smoking reduced the PAD risk in the study group but even after 20 years, did not lower the risk to that of a woman who had never smoked.

Smoking Appears to Thin Brain’s Critical Thinking Cerebral Cortex 12/3/2010

Previous brain imaging studies have shown that tobacco smoking is associated with large-scale and wide-spread structural brain abnormalities. Learnings hadn’t focused on the impact of smoking upon cortical thickness and the impact of smoking on the cerebral cortex, the area of our brains responsible for language, information processing and memory.

Researchers can now confirm that cortical thickness in the human brain is negatively correlated with the number of cigarettes smoked each day and the magnitude of lifetime exposure.

“Since the brain region in which we found the smoking-associated thinning has been related to impulse control, reward processing and decision making, this might explain how nicotine addiction comes about,” explained Dr. Simone Kühn. “In a follow-up study, we plan to explore the rehabilitative effects of quitting smoking on the brain.” via Science Daily

Premature Death Costs — but Not Hospitalization & Medical Expenses — Charged to Cigarettes @$150 a Pack

Researchers in Cartagena, Colombia estimate that each pack of cigarettes really costs €107 for men and €75 for women, when premature death cost is taken into account.

The research doesn’t factor in the hospitalization and medical charges associated with lung cancer and other diseases positively associated with smoking cigarettes. Those costs are born by society and the averaging of health care costs across multiple insurance policies, leaving nonsmokers to pay for higher costs for smokers. Read on at Science Daily.