Smoking likely to cause increased stroke risk for spouse

July 29th, 2008 - 4:34 pm ICT by IANS  


New York, July 29 (IANS) Second hand smoke, known to be linked with coronary heart disease risk, also causes increased stroke risk, according to a study. For those who never smoked, being married to a current smoker was associated with a 42 percent increase in risk of stroke compared to being married to a never-smoker.

For former smokers, being married to a current smoker was associated with a 72 percent increase in risk compared to being married to a never-smoker.

Being married to a former smoker was not associated with any increase in risk compared to being married to a never-smoker. This suggests that although stroke risk is elevated if your spouse smokes, that risk is eliminated if your spouse stops smoking.

For example, never-smokers married to former smokers had nearly the same stroke risk as never-smokers married to never-smokers. Current smokers had significantly elevated stroke rates compared to never-smokers, and spousal smoking status did not affect this risk among current smokers.

The data were drawn from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a National Institute on Aging sponsored longitudinal survey of U.S. adults nationwide aged around 50 years and their spouses.

Enrolments occurred in 1992, 1993, 1998 and 2004 and final analyses included 16,225 respondents. Spousal smoking status was assessed at the time of enrolment and participants were followed an average of 9.1 years after enrolment for the incidence of stroke.

All models were adjusted for age; race; Hispanic ethnicity; Southern birth state; parental education; paternal occupation class; years of education; baseline income; baseline wealth; obesity; overweight; alcohol use; and diagnosed hypertension, diabetes or heart disease.

The current study found that never-smoking women married to currently smoking husbands had an increased stroke risk, compared to never-smoking women married to never-smoking husbands.

The study will be published in September issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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