Smoking women often experience subarachnoid hemorrhage
The so-called stroke (apoplexy) is a life-threatening illness that affects around 270,000 people annually in Germany alone. One cause of strokes is bleeding in our brain. Researchers found that such bleeding from the brain was more common in smokers. Women who smoke are particularly affected by this dangerous bleeding.
Smoking is known to be unhealthy. There are a number of health aspects that suffer when people smoke. Scientists from the University of Helsinki found in a recent study that smoking women are also more likely to have bleeding in the brain. They experience so-called subarachnoid bleeding three times more often than men who smoke the same amount of cigarettes. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal “Stroke”.
Smoking increases the likelihood of subarachnoid hemorrhage eight times
Smoking women massively increase their risk of stroke and brain bleeding. Experts say that women who smoke even slightly have a three-fold chance of suffering a stroke. Women who smoke more than one pack of cigarettes a day increase their risk of subarachnoid bleeding by eight times compared to women who do not smoke at all.
Avoid subarachnoid bleeding, stop smoking today
There is no safe level of smoking. The best option is simply never to start smoking, explains lead researcher Dr. Joni Lindbohm from the University of Helsinki. Policy makers should adopt effective strategies against smoking, so subarachnoid bleeding could be significantly reduced, explains Dr. Linbohm continues. There are, of course, other studies that looked at stroke prevention. For example, one study found that aspirin can prevent a severe stroke.
Younger people are also at risk of subarachnoid hemorrhage
It is often assumed that only older people can have a stroke. This idea is of course wrong, because it also affects younger patients. Subarachnoid hemorrhage occurs in about three percent of all strokes, with young people also being affected more often.
Subarachnoid hemorrhage can quickly lead to permanent disability and death. The mortality rate is around a fifth, say the doctors. Such a type of stroke usually results from bleeding from an aneurysm in the human brain. The scientists explain that an aneurysm is a small weak spot in a blood vessel that can burst at any time.
Study examines data from 66,000 subjects
For their study, Dr. Lindbohm and his colleagues used the data already collected from almost 66,000 Finnish adults. The data came from a large national Finnish survey. This started in 1972 and followed the subjects on average for a period of 21 years, either until the first stroke occurred, the subjects died or until the end of the study in 2011, the authors explain.
Subarachnoid hemorrhage affects women much more than men
If men smoked one to ten cigarettes a day, their risk of subarachnoid hemorrhage doubled. In women, the likelihood of this bleeding tripled, the researchers say. If people smoked eleven to twenty cigarettes a day, the risk for men was twice as high. However, women were four times more likely to have subarachnoid hemorrhage than non-smokers, doctors add. Another study has already found that women with migraines generally have a high heart attack and risk of stroke. For this reason, women with frequent migraines in particular should stop smoking.
Six months abstinence from smoking significantly reduce the risk
When people quit smoking, they also significantly reduce their risk of subarachnoid hemorrhage. After only six months of abstinence, the risk fell back to the level of non-smokers.
Relationship between subarachnoid hemorrhage and smoking was already known
The reasons why subarachnoid hemorrhage occurs more often in women than in men are still unclear, says Dr. Linbohm. The researcher suspects that the general harm caused by smoking greatly increases the risk in women. The connection between subarachnoid hemorrhage and smoking is not really a surprise. This connection has been known for years. So it's best to stop smoking today. If you have tried to quit several times but have had little success so far, here are some pointers on how you can finally quit smoking.
Smoking and high blood pressure are two important modifiable risk factors
Cigarette smoking and high blood pressure are two important modifiable risk factors for subarachnoid hemorrhage, the experts say. The results prove that people generally should never smoke cigarettes and must have healthy blood pressure to avoid this type of stroke. (as)