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Family History of Aneurism Raises Stroke Risk for Smokers

They're 6 times likely to suffer bleeding stroke, study finds

TUESDAY, Jan. 6 -- (HealthDay News) -- Smokers with a family history of brain aneurism are at extreme risk of suffering a stroke from a ruptured aneurysm themselves, a new study shows.

The study, backed by the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and published in the Jan. 6 issue of Neurology, found that these smokers were more than six times more likely to suffer a particular type of stroke, called a subarachnoid hemorrhage, than were those who did not smoke and did not have a family history of stroke or brain aneurysm. A subarachnoid hemorrhage is a bleeding type of stroke that's deadly 35 to 40 percent of the time, according to the study.

Researchers studied 339 people who suffered a stroke from a brain aneurysm and 1,016 people who had not had a stroke caused by an aneurysm. Smokers made up half of the group that had a stroke, whereas the other half had never smoked or had smoked in the past.

"While all people should be advised to quit smoking, our findings suggest that there is an interaction so that if you smoke and you have a family history of aneurysms, you are at an extremely high risk of suffering a stroke from a ruptured brain aneurysm," study author Dr. Daniel Woo, of the University of Cincinnati, said in an American Academy of Neurology news release.

More information

To learn the five signs of stroke, visit the American Stroke Association online.

-- HealthDay staff

SOURCE: American Academy of Neurology, news release, Dec. 31, 2008

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