HONOLULU, April 25 Although smokers tended to be leaner than nonsmokers overall, their tobacco use negated the heart-protective benefits usually associated with low-body fat, according to an analysis of 23 studies. The findings, presented today at the American Heart Associations Asia Pacific Scientific Forum, held across race, gender, national origin and ethnicity.
There is a public perception that smoking has a health benefit in that it keeps people thinner. That perception is dead wrong, says Daniel T. Lackland, Dr.P.H., professor of epidemiology at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.
In our analysis, the risk of death faced by smokers from heart attack and other causes was very high. The benefit of thinness was negligible by comparison. These results were fairly consistent across national, ethnic and racial lines, he says.
Overall, men who smoked cigarettes had a 50 percent greater relative risk of dying from a heart attack compared to nonsmoking men. The numbers were even more dramatic for female cigarette smokers they had an 80 percent greater relative risk of dying from a heart attack compared to their nonsmoking peers. Female smokers also had a higher risk of dying from other causes.
Female smokers tended to be both leaner than their cigarette-using male counterparts as well as having a higher risk of heart attack death. According to Lackland, this gender difference was unexpected, and requires further research.
We have known for some time that smokers of both genders tend to be leaner, and leanness is cardio-protective, says Lackland. We looked at 59 analytic groups within the 23 studies from around the world to examine whether weight control through smoking had any health benefits whatsoever as a means to reduce the risk of heart attack, or death from other causes, he says.
The researchers examined data from more than 250,000 men and women of diverse ethnic and racial groups from Asia, Europe and the UniPage: 1 2 3 Related medicine news :1
Contact: Carole Bullock
American Heart Association
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