Smoking 'represents a risk factor for stroke patients'

2 October 2012

People who choose to smoke following a stroke may suffer from a series of difficulties that non-smokers will not experience.

A study carried out by the Canadian Stroke Network, a research organisation headquartered at the University of Ottawa, found that stroke patients who smoke have an increased difficulty when it comes to problem solving and decision making compared to non-smokers.

In order to highlight this point, the scientists studied the mental abilities of 76 stroke patients with assistance from the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) tool.

This examination tasks participants with memory and problem solving questions, with the maximum score being 30.

Results for this particular test found that smokers achieved a median MoCA score which was two points lower than non-smokers. Furthermore, those who had quit the habit managed to score the same rating as those who had never had a cigarette.

Gail MacKenzie, a clinical nurse specialist at Hamilton General Hospital, commented: "Smoking is a risk factor for cognitive impairment for people who continue to smoke and this ability to problem-solve and make decisions has implications for patients' health and self-management of care."

Posted by Philip Briggs


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