Smokers Have Twice the Risk for Stroke

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation
We all know that smoking is bad for health.  The questions that require ongoing study and clarification are "how bad" and "bad for what, specifically".

In research presented last week to the Canadian Stroke Congress, scientists from the University of Ottawa Heart Institute provided some answers.  They concluded that smokers are twice as likely to suffer an ischemic stroke (caused by a blocked blood vessel) as non-smokers,  and four times more likely to suffer a hemorrhagic stroke (caused by a ruptured blood vessel) than non-smokers.

These findings were accompanied by more bad news.  The researchers found that, among smokers who had strokes, the strokes occurred about a decade earlier (on average) than strokes among non-smokers.  They also found that continuing to smoke following a minor stroke, greatly increased the likelihood of a major stroke later on.

Smoking is a preventable risk; a life-style choice with serious consequences. In addition to the well-publicized damage that smoking can cause your heart and lungs, I am hopeful that sharper insights into how it might damage your brain, will help more people make wiser choices about smoking.