Spouseís Stroke Risk
Thursday, October 23, 2008

Another study has come out underlining the dangers of secondhand smoke. In todayís 60 Second Housecall, Dr. Edward Hill discusses a report linking secondhand smoke and stroke.

Nonsmokers who are married to someone who smokes have a greatly increased risk for stroke, a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine concluded.

 Secondhand smoke makes a person more likely to develop heart disease, but until now, few studies have linked such exposure to stroke risk.

Researchers at Harvardís School of Public Health looked at the smoking habits of the spouses of more than 16,000 stroke-free married adults age 50 and older.

The study only evaluated cigarette use, not cigars or pipe tobacco. Researchers followed the participants for about nine years to document the occurrence of first stroke. During the study period, there were 1,130 first strokes reported.

Being married to a current smoker increased the risk of a first stroke by 42 percent among those who never smoked.

The risk of stroke was higher for former smokers who were married to current smokers. Former smokers who had a spouse that smokes had a 72 percent increased risk for stroke compared with those who were married to someone who never smoked.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.