Smoking puts women at high risk of heart attack
This may be the year to add “kick the smoking habit” to your New Year’s resolution list, especially if you’re a woman. New research published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation: Arrhythmia & Electrophysiology found that women increase their risk of a sudden cardiac death by 8 percent for every five years that they maintain a smoking habit. And it’s not just heavy smokers at risk. Even women who smoke between one and 14 cigarettes per day are two times more likely to die of a sudden cardiac event than women who do not smoke at all.
The good news is: it’s never too late to quit. Researchers found that once a woman quits smoking, her risk of sudden cardiac death decreases to that of a nonsmoker in less than five years if she does not already have heart disease. Lung damage from smoking also clears up very quickly once a person kicks the habit for good.