Smok­ing may boost the risk of ir­reg­u­lar heart­beat

The Borneo Post - Nature and health - - Front Page - Euro­pean Jour­nal of Pre­ven­tive Car­di­ol­ogy.

you smoke, the greater your chances of de­vel­op­ing a com­mon heart rhythm dis­or­der that in­creases your risk of stroke and early death, re­searchers say. “If you smoke, stop smok­ing, and if you don’t smoke, don’t start,” said study au­thor Dagfinn Aune, a post­doc­toral re­searcher at Im­pe­rial Col­lege Lon­don. “We found that smok­ers are at in­creased risk of atrial fib­ril­la­tion, but the risk is re­duced con­sid­er­ably in those who quit,” said Aune, who is also an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor at Bjork­nes Univer­sity Col­lege in Oslo, Nor­way. Atrial fib­ril­la­tion, or a-fib, will af­fect one-quar­ter of mid­dle-aged Amer­i­can and Euro­pean adults. A-fib causes 20 to 30 per cent of all strokes, and boosts the chances of pre­ma­ture death. For the new study, re­searchers an­a­lysed 29 stud­ies that in­cluded nearly 678,000 peo­ple in North Amer­ica, Europe, Aus­tralia and Ja­pan. The find­ings showed that, com­pared with not smok­ing, puff­ing 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 or 29 cig­a­rettes a day was as­so­ci­ated with a nine per cent, 17 per cent, 25 per cent, 32 per cent, 39 per cent, and 45 per cent in­creased risk of atrial fib­ril­la­tion, re­spec­tively. Ev­ery 10 “pack-years” of smok­ing was as­so­ci­ated with a 16 per cent in­creased risk of de­vel­op­ing a-fib. Pack­years are the num­ber of packs of cig­a­rettes smoked per day mul­ti­plied by the num­ber of years a per­son has smoked. When com­pared with peo­ple who never smoked, the risk of de­vel­op­ing a-fib was 32 per cent higher among cur­rent smok­ers, 21 per cent higher among cur­rent and for­mer smok­ers com­bined, and nine per cent higher among for­mer smok­ers, the re­searchers said. “Our re­sults pro­vide fur­ther ev­i­dence of the health ben­e­fits of quit­ting smok­ing and, even bet­ter, to never start smok­ing in the first place,” Aune said in a news re­lease from the Euro­pean So­ci­ety of Car­di­ol­ogy. “This is im­por­tant from a pub­lic health per­spec­tive to pre­vent atrial fib­ril­la­tion and many other chronic dis­eases,” he added. The study was pub­lished in the

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