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Secondhand Smoke Exposure Tied to Increased Stroke Risk

After adjustment for other stroke factors, increased risk among those with SHS exposure

MONDAY, July 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Stroke risk is increased with secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure, according to a study published online June 23 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Angela M. Malek, Ph.D., from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, and colleagues compared demographic and clinical characteristics by SHS exposure status for African-American and white smokers from the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke study. Data were included for 21,743 participants (38 percent African-American, 45 percent male), aged 45 years or older.

The researchers found that 23 percent of participants reported SHS exposure in the past year. Exposed participants were more likely to be female, white, younger, and reside with a smoker than those without SHS exposure (all P < 0.001). From April 2003 to March 2012 there were 428 incident strokes during a mean follow-up of 5.6 years. After adjustment for other stroke risk factors, there was a 30 percent increase in the risk of overall stroke among those with SHS exposure. This association was driven by ischemic strokes.

“SHS exposure is independently associated with an increased risk of stroke,” the authors write. “Future studies are needed to confirm these findings and examine the role of long-term effects of SHS exposure on stroke outcomes.”

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