Smoking is much more likely to give females heart disease than males, a study has discovered.
Toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke may have a much more potent effect on women because of biological differences, scientists think.
US researchers analysed pooled information on around four million individuals from 86 studies. Right after adjusting for other risk aspects, they found the increased risk of heart disease linked to smoking was 25% higher for females.
The longer a woman smoked, the higher her heart disease risk was compared with that of a man who had smoked for the exact same length of time. A woman’s extra risk increased by 2% for every further year she had been smoking, says The Guardian.
Females smokers have double the risk of lung cancer compared with their male counterparts, and frequently suffer much more aggressive forms of the disease.
The most recent review looked at 75 sets of information, which included 67,000 coronary heart disease events such as heart attacks.
The risk ratio of smoking compared with not smoking for coronary heart disease was found to be 25 per cent higher in females than males.
This increased by two per cent for each additional year of follow-up, meaning that the longer a woman smokes, the higher her risk of developing heart disease becomes compared having a man who has smoked the exact same length of time, Times of India reports.
The chief executive of Heart UK, Jules Payne, stated: “Smoking cessation policies and practice should take account of differences between the genders in order to optimise effectiveness in targeting both males and females.”
Jane Landon, deputy chief executive of the National Heart Forum, stated: “In many countries around the world, ladies are viewed as a growth market by tobacco companies.
“Government plans for plain packaging of tobacco items are urgently necessary to stop the cynical marketing and advertising that particularly targets young ladies with slim cigarettes in small, attractive packs in appealing textures and colours”,