The health risks that come with smoking cigarettes has been well documented over the decades, with lungs being especially susceptible to smoke inhalation. But a new study has found another key part of the human anatomy could lopsidedly affect women who smoke: The brain.
In particular, women who smoke are more likely to experience bleeding on the brain, a condition that is medically known as a stroke called subarachnoid hemorrhaging. In fact, researchers from Finland found, women who smoke at least one pack of cigarettes a day are eight times more likely than their male counterparts to suffer from subarachnoid hemorrhages.
The study's lead researcher wanted to make it known that there are a host of adverse health effects that come with smoking cigarettes regardless of gender, but subarachnoid hemorrhages account for 3 percent of all strokes, Health24 reported.
"The message for policymakers is that by implementing effective strategies against smoking, they can considerably reduce the burden of subarachnoid hemorrhage," said Dr. Joni Lindbohm, who works at the University of Helsinki with a specialties in neurosurgery and public health.
Studies have shown that most strokes are preventable, with an obvious first step for smokers being to quit the habit to reduce chances of suffering from brain bleeding.
Most recently, researchers found this week that a risk of having a stroke would be reduced by 12 percent by quitting smoking alone, science news outlet EurekAlert reported. DNA: Smoking dips 10% in 2 yrs, but women smokers up sharply in India.
"Our findings will inform the development of global populationlevel interventions to reduce stroke, and how such programs may be tailored to individual regions," said Dr. Salim Yusuf, a professor of medicine of McMaster's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine in Ontario, Canada, who coauthored the report.
"This includes better health education, more affordable healthy food, avoidance of tobacco and more affordable medication for hypertension and dyslipidaemia."
Compounding the new study is the fact that an increasing number of women are apparently smoking cigarettes while they're pregnant, according to research findings released this month and reported on by CBS News.
"We have long suspected that smoking status during pregnancy is underreported," said Dr. Jim Greenberg, director of the Perinatal Institute at Cincinnati Children's Hospital and author of the report.
"But now we know just how many women struggle to quit smoking when they are pregnant."