Smoking linked to bleeding in the brain- American Heart Asso
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Research Highlights:
-Researchers in Finland found a link between smoking and subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), a type of bleeding stroke, in a study of more than 16,000 pairs of twins over 42 years.

-The study found that bleeding in the brain can be explained to a greater degree by environmental risk factors, such as smoking, than by genetic influence.

An investigation of the Finnish Twin Cohort reaffirmed a link between smoking and subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), a type of bleeding stroke that occurs under the membrane that covers the brain and is frequently fatal. The new study by researchers in Finland is published today in Stroke, a journal of the American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association

Data collected from surveys included smoking; high blood pressure (diagnosis or use of antihypertensive medications); physical activity; body mass index; education; and alcohol use. Participants were separated into two groups: smokers (occasional or current) or non-smokers (never and former). Current smokers were classified according to the number of cigarettes smoked per day: light, less than 10; moderate, 10-19; heavy, 20, or more.

The analysis of the 120 fatal bleeding events found:

-Four fatalities occurred among both twins in two pairs. In the remaining 116 fatalities, one twin died of bleeding in the brain, while the other died of another cause, migrated during the follow-up or was still alive at the end of the study follow-up.

-Heavy and moderate smokers had 3 times the risk of fatal bleeding in the brain, while light smokers had slightly less at 2.8 times the risk.

-Median age at the fatal brain bleed was 61.4 years.

Risk factors such as high blood pressure, lower physical activity rates and being female were not found to be significant influences in this investigation, unlike prior studies. Smoking was associated with fatal bleeding in the brain consistently in both men and women and with bleeding stroke deaths within twin pairs where only one of the twins died from a SAH.

The current study did not have data on non-fatal SAH events and researchers were not able to estimate the impact of former smoking on these brain bleeds. Former smokers and never smokers were combined in the non-smoking category. Researchers were also not able to confirm the aneurysmal origin of SAHs (no patient data was available) and may have included a few non-aneurysmal SAH events.

Source:https://newsroom.heart.org/news/smoking-linked-to-bleeding-in-the-brain-in-large-long-term-study-of-twins
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