Post-stroke smoking 'increases risk of death 3-fold'

28 August 2012

Smoking after a stroke increases the risk of death by about three times, a new study has found.

Professor Furio Colivicchi, from San Filippo Neri Hospital, acknowledged that it is well established that smoking increases the risk of a stroke.

However, there is research that it could have an even bigger effect if the patient continues to smoke after they have experienced a stroke.

"Quitting smoking after an acute ischemic stroke may be more effective than any medication in reducing the risk of further adverse events," he revealed.

"However, on the other hand, our study shows that stroke patients resuming active smoking after leaving the hospital can raise their risk of dying by as much as three-fold."

Stroke patients in the study all stopped smoking while they were in the hospital, but 53 per cent had taken up the habit by the end of their first year, with older patients and women the most likely to relapse.

After a year though, 89 patients had died, and it was found that resuming smoking after a stroke raised a person's risk of death by three-fold.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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