Even moderate smoking risky for women

December 20, 2012

Researchers who prospectively examined the association between cigarette smoking/smoking cessation and the risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD) have found that even “light-to-moderate” smokers (those who smoke 1 to 14 cigarettes daily) are at increased risk. The study looked at 101,018 women participating in the Nurses' Health Study without known coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and cancer beginning in 1980. (The Nurses' Health Study has collected biannual health questionnaires from US female nurses since 1976.)

 

Researchers who prospectively examined the association between cigarette smoking/smoking cessation and the risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD) have found that even “light-to-moderate” smokers (those who smoke 1 to 14 cigarettes daily) are at increased risk. The study looked at 101,018 women participating in the Nurses' Health Study without known coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and cancer beginning in 1980. (The Nurses' Health Study has collected biannual health questionnaires from US female nurses since 1976.)

During 30 years of follow-up, there were 351 SCDs. Compared with people who had never smoked, current smokers had a 2.44-fold (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.80-3.31) increased risk of SCD after controlling for coronary risk factors. In multivariable analyses, the quantity of cigarettes smoked daily was linearly associated with SCD risk among current smokers. Light-to-moderate amounts of cigarette consumption (1-14 per day) were associated with a significant 1.84-fold (95% CI, 1.16-2.92) increase in SCD risk and every 5 years of continued smoking was associated with an 8% increase in SCD risk (hazard ratio [HR] 1.08; 95% CI, 1.05-1.12, P<0.0001). The SCD risk linearly decreased over time after quitting and was equivalent to that of a never smoker after 20 years of cessation.