Risk of brain bleeds higher for female smokers
The research shows that even light smoking significantly increases the risk of brain bleeds in female smokers. The risk continues to rise according to how heavily a woman smokes.
“Female sex has been described as an independent risk factor for subarachnoid hemorrhage, but we found strong evidence that the elevated risk in women is explained by vulnerability to smoking,” Dr. Joni Valdemar, lead study author and physician in neurosurgery and public health at the University of Helsinki in Finland, said. “Our results suggest that age, sex and lifestyle risk factors play a critical role in predicting which patients are at risk for subarachnoid hemorrhage and emphasize the importance of effective smoking cessation strategies.”
This bleeding is known as subarachnoid hemorrhage. When this happens, blood leaks into the lining that separates the surface and the underlying tissue of the brain. It is still unclear why the risk increases more for female smokers than male smokers, though smokers of both sex have increased risks for subarachnoid hemorrhaging.
Specifically, female smokers were 2.95 times more likely to develop brain bleeds than non-smokers. Male smokers who smoked the same or similar numbers of cigarettes were 1.93 times more likely to develop brain bleeds.
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