Smoking is a major risk factor for stroke in China, accounting for about one in seven strokes in men, researchers reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.
This study shows that smoking prevention and cessation could be an important approach to reducing the societal burden of stroke, said Jiang He, M.D., Ph.D., senior author of the study.
Many studies in western populations have shown that cigarette smoking is a strong and independent risk factor for stroke. But the relationship between cigarette smoking and stroke hasnt been well-studied in Asian populations including China, where stroke is the second leading cause of death.
The study findings were consistent with reports from other populations, but in China this risk creates a huge public health problem, said He, the Joseph S. Copes Chair and professor of epidemiology at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, La. In addition to being the worlds most populous nation, China is the worlds leading producer and consumer of cigarettes.
Researchers from Tulane and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing studied a representative sample of 83,533 men and 86,336 women, 40 years and older, from 17 provinces in mainland China. The participants were part of the third China National Hypertension Survey.
Researchers collected information on cigarette smoking and other health data when the study began in 1991. At that time, 59.1 percent of men and 13 percent of women reported being current smokers. The researchers followed participants for an average 8.3 years, during which time 6,780 strokes occurred, 3,979 of them fatal. After adjusting for other stroke-related factors, such as age and blood pressure, cigarette smoking was found to be a significant predictor of stroke.
Cigarette smoking accounted for 14.2 percent of strokes and 7.1 percent of stroke fatalities in men, and 3.1 percent of strokes and 2.4 perce
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American Heart Association