If you smoke, not having cancer doesn’t mean you are doing something right, it simply means you are, for the time being, defying the odds. Just because you don’t have cardiovascular disease yet, doesn’t mean you won’t down the road. And according to a new study, if you are a smoker and you survive a stroke, you are actually at a higher risk of having another stroke, a heart attack, or even dying.
The American Heart Association’s journal Stroke reports that stroke survivors who survive their stroke are at a greater risk of having another, having a heart attack, or dying when compared with nonsmokers.
Scientists looked at stroke-survivors in Australia, tracking nearly 1,600 survivors for ten years. Using telephone surveys, in-person interviews, and medical records, the researchers tracked recurrent health episodes and deaths.
They found that people who smoked at the time of their first stroke were 30% more likely to have a “poor outcome”. Those who are “current smokers” and who survived their first stroke by at least 28 days were 42% more at risk for a poor outcome.
So, not only are smokers at a greater risk for a first-time stroke, they are at a greater risk of a recurrent stroke too. Prior studies like this one were inconsistent in producing results on long-term outcomes following a stroke.
In the United States, stroke are the fourth-leading cause of death. It is also the leading cause of disability.
The researchers found that smoking had the greatest impact on young adult men from disadvantaged populations. They say this could help public health sectors determine where their preventative dollar would be best spent.
In addition to quitting smoking, the following tips can help you prevent a stroke:
- Stop drinking diet soda and regular soda alike
- Boost magnesium intake
- Add apples and pears to your diet
- Follow this anti-stroke diet
- Stop your daily aspirin regimen
Every 40 seconds a stroke occurs in America. Like heart attacks, the vast majority are preventable. Whether smoking or a poor diet is your vice, getting control of could be a matter of life and death.