`Smokers three times more likely to suffer stroke`

London: Here`s another reason why you should kick the butt -- smokers are around three times more likely to suffer a stroke than those who eschew cigarettes, claims a new
Canadian study.

Researchers at the University of Ottowa who examined more than 950 stroke patients found that around 700 of them were smokers, compared to just 250 non-smokers.

When they calculated the average age of stroke patients, it was found to be just 58 among smokers, compared to a the average of 67 among non-smokers, the Daily Mail reported.

And the bad news for smokers doesn`t end there, the team found that they run double the risk of strokes caused by a dislodged blood clot, and quadruple the risk of a stroke caused by a ruptured blood vessel.

This type of stroke accounts for about one in five of the 150,000 strokes that occur each year in the UK.

The researchers, who presented their findings to the Canadian Stroke Network, also found that smokers who have a minor stroke are ten times more likely to go on to have a
major stroke, especially if they continue to puff.

Some hope was offered to smokers by the team that said the risk of stroke is reduced to the same level as it is with non-smokers withing 18 months to two years of quitting.

The researchers called on the government to restrict access to cigarettes in order to try and cut the number of strokes, as well as creating better support for people wanting to kick the habit.

"The information from this study provides yet another important piece of evidence about the significance of helping people stop smoking," said Dr Andrew Pipe, who led the study.

"It also alerts the neurology community to the importance of addressing smoking in stroke patients.

"It`s scandalous that Canadians continue to die in large numbers from stroke, heart disease, cancers and a host of other diseases for which the tobacco industry is responsible."


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