Female smokers may be at greater risk for hemorrhagic stroke than male smokers, according to a recent study. The study indicates that while stroke risk is high among smokers worldwide, in western countries the risk of stroke linked to smoking may be higher in women.
The study, which appears in the journal Stroke, states that when compared to non-smokers of the same gender, smoking elevates the risk of having any type of stroke by 60% or 80% in women and men. During the study, researchers note they compared data from more than 80 international studies published between the years of 1966 and 2013. The results suggest that smoking is linked to more than 50% greater risk of ischemic stroke. Yet researchers say, for hemorrhagic stroke, smoking resulted in a 17% greater risk in women than in men.
Additionally, the results indicate that when compared to men who smoke, the risk for women smokers was about 10% higher in Western countries than in Asian countries. Hormones and how nicotine blood fats may also impact the greater risk for bleeding stroke among women, according to researchers.
A news release from the American Heart Association reports that fats, cholesterol, and triglycerides increase to a greater extent in women smoke when compared to men who smoke. This also results in a greater risk for coronary heart disease in female smokers than in male smokers.
Rachel Huxley, lead study author, professor, School of Population Health University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, emphasizes the benefits of quitting smoking and the resulting lowered risk of stroke in both genders, “Tobacco control policies should be a mainstay for primary stroke prevention programs,” Huxley adds.