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Smokers under 50 have eightfold increased risk of heart attack

Smokers under the age of 50 are more than eight times as likely as non-smokers to have a heart attack, say researchers in Sheffield. 
Male under 50s smoker

Smokers under the age of 50 are more than eight times as likely as non-smokers to have a heart attack, say researchers in Sheffield.

Between 2009 and 2012 they studied data on 1,727 adults undergoing treatment for a STEMI - ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction - at South Yorkshires regional specialist cardiothoracic centre in Sheffield.

Data from the Office for National Statistics was used to collect information on smoking prevalence. Nearly half of the patients studied (48.5%) were current smokers, just over 27% were former smokers and just over 24% were non-smokers.

Current and ex-smokers were twice as likely as non-smokers to have had previous episodes of coronary artery disease, and three times as likely as non-smokers to have peripheral vascular disease.

Young

...

Smokers under the age of 50 are more than eight times as likely as non-smokers to have a heart attack, say researchers in Sheffield.

Male under 50s smoker
Current and ex-smokers were twice as likely as non-smokers to have had
previous episodes of coronary artery disease. Picture: iStock

Between 2009 and 2012 they studied data on 1,727 adults undergoing treatment for a STEMI - ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction - at South Yorkshire’s regional specialist cardiothoracic centre in Sheffield.

Data from the Office for National Statistics was used to collect information on smoking prevalence. Nearly half of the patients studied (48.5%) were current smokers, just over 27% were former smokers and just over 24% were non-smokers. 

Current and ex-smokers were twice as likely as non-smokers to have had previous episodes of coronary artery disease, and three times as likely as non-smokers to have peripheral vascular disease. 

Young at highest risk

The overall prevalence of smoking in South Yorkshire was 22.4%, with the highest prevalence among those under the age of 50. Among STEMI patients under the age of 50, smoking prevalence was almost 75%. 

Analysis of the data showed that smokers were more than three times as likely to have a STEMI than ex and non-smokers combined. The highest risk was among the under 50s, who were almost 8.5 times as likely to do so as former and non-smokers of the same age. 

The risk fell with increasing age, dropping to a five-fold difference among 50-65 year olds, and a three-fold difference among the over 65s. 

‘All current smokers must be encouraged into smoking cessation therapy to reduce their risk of acute STEMI, with a focus on the youngest smokers whose increased risk is often unrecognised,’ the study authors said.  


Lloyd A et al (2016) Pronounced increase in risk of acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction in younger smokers. Heart. doi:10.1136/heartjnl-2016-309595

 

 

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