Researchers in the United Kingdom (UK), said current smokers, especially those who began smoking during childhood, faced nearly three times the risk of premature death from cardiovascular disease compared with people who never smoked. These are the results of a new research published yesterday in the ‘Journal of the American Heart Association (AHA). The ‘Medical Xpress’ reported that previous studies in Cuba found a correlation between childhood smoking and a higher risk for premature death overall.
Consequently, the researchers in this new study set out to determine if the previous findings were generalisable in other populations by conducting a similar analysis of United States (U.S.) data focused on death from cardiovascular disease. Lead study author, Blake Thomson, said: “It was surprising to see how consistent these findings were with our earlier research and with other studies from around the world, including from the U.K., Australia and Japan, among others, both in terms of the substantial risks associated with smoking and with the health benefits of quitting smoking.” Thomson, an M.Phil., D.Phil., is an epidemiologist at the University of Oxford in Oxford, England.
He said: “The age at which a person begins smoking is an important and often overlooked factor, and those who start smoking at a young age are at especially high risk of dying prematurely from cardiovascular disease.” However, the researchers said quitting smoking could substantially reduce that risk, especially for those who quit at younger ages. “Getting people to quit smoking remains one of the greatest health priorities globally,” said Thomson.
Using data collected between 1997 and2014, from the annual U.S. National Health Interview Survey, researchers examined the medical histories, lifestyle habits and demographics of smokers and nonsmokers. The study included 390,929 adults, ages 25 to 74 years (average age of 47), 56 per cent female. Occasional smokers were excluded from the study. Current smokers were grouped by the age at which they began smoking