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Aortic Aneurism among Women Smokers

aortic aneurism

Women who smoke have a significantly higher risk of developing an abdominal aortic aneurysm than those who have never had a cigarette in their life.
A recent study published in the British Medical Journal in October 2012, found that female smokers are four times more likely to have an aortic aneurysm rupture or need repair than women who have quit smoking.
Furthermore, women who smoke have an eight-fold higher risk of rupture or the need for aortic repair than those who never took up the habit, the study found. Previous research has shown that tobacco use increases the prevalence of aortic aneurysms in men as well.
The lead author of the study, Dr.Frank Lederle concluded that smoking is much more potent a factor with regard to aortic aneurysms than it is in coronary heart disease or cerebral vascular disease. Using the established figures that determine increased risk of heart attack or stroke as a result of the contribution of smoking, Dr.Lederle found that the risk was much greater for aortic aneurysm. The study was unable to determine the reason why smoking had such a profound effect on blood vessels.
An aneurysm occurs when an area in the wall of the aorta (the body’s largest artery that runs from the heart to the abdomen before dividing into two blood vessels to the legs) is weakened and begins ballooning out. The aneurysm can rupture causing a person to bleed to death within seconds to hours.
Although these aneurysms are more common in men, abdominal aortic aneurysms are more deadly in women. Proportionally fewer women than men survive surgery to repair the artery.
This condition is almost impossible to detect until it happens. There are no physical symptoms until the aneurysm begins to rupture and that can be as much as ten years after it actually started to form. Although this disease may lie dormant for many years, it is easily detected with untrasound but is rarely found because it is rarely looked for.
This can be disastrous because once the rupture has begun, 75 to 80% of the affected people will die. About 50% do not even make it to the hospital and of those that do arrive and have the surgery only about 50% of them survive.
Dr.Lederle’s team analyzed data from the U.S. Women’s Health Initiative study. It looked at risk factors for rupture and repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms in almost 162,000 postmenopausal women who were followed for an average of eight years. They found that women on hormone replacement therapy or with diabetes had a slightly lower risk of aneurysm. This strange statistic means that further research is necessary, however it can be speculated that hormones such as estrogen and progesterone helped keep blood vessels healthy.
Of course quitting smoking, doing 45 minutes of aerobic exercise a day and consuming one piece of pure dark chocolate (70% coco content or higher) will do a lot more for your arteries without putting you at risk for breast cancer.
Smoking is extremely addicting, more addicting than heroin or cocaine and most people need at least three tries to quit. Do not be discouraged if you do not succeed that first time but keep on trying. This latest study gives you yet another reason to kick this terrible habit.