You’re likely very much attached to that one cigarette you allow yourself the “pleasure” of smoking at the end of a long day. But as a new study comes to suggests, that one cigarette doubles the risk of sudden heart death in women.
Smoking remains one of the top health urgency in the United States, tobacco being the biggest killer. Each year, there are about 443,000 people who die prematurely from smoking while 6 million deaths each year are linked to tobacco use. By 2015, experts estimate smoking will kill 6.5 million people. In the meanwhile, researchers are trying to solve the rest of the puzzle, finding new risk factors linked to smoking.
The study published in the journal of the American Heart Association shows that not even light smoking is safer, although for the most part people believe smoking less isn’t as harmful as going through 1 to 2 packs a day. The research conducted by researchers with the University of Alberta Canada on 101,000 US nurses over three decades found that even light-to-moderate smokers face a significant risk of dying from sudden heart problems than those who had never smoked.
“Even with a very small amount, one to 14 cigarettes per day, women’s risk of sudden cardiac death was almost two-fold higher compared to women who did not smoke” the research reads.
Basically, for every five years of continued smoking of one to 14 cigarettes a day, the risk of sudden death increased by 8 percent. Quitting smoking however, cuts the risk of sudden death to that of a person who had never smoked, but it takes two decades of cessation for that risk to be reduced.
“Sudden cardiac death is often the first sign of heart disease among women so lifestyle changes that reduce that risk are particularly important” reads a statement by lead researcher Roopinder K. Sandhu, of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. “Our study shows that cigarette smoking is an important modifiable risk factor for sudden cardiac death among all women” the researcher added.