Why women should kick the butt

  • By Sanjay Akolkar

Smoking, as we all know it is a known health hazard responsible for more than 5 million deaths worldwide (WHO estimates); yet the habit continues to thrive especially amongst youngsters. Women have long since been warned about the dangers that the smoking habit can wreck on the female anatomy- right from abnormal fetuses to various serious health conditions like cancer, hypertension and heart attacks. This is however the clincher! Smoking is now the cause of sudden death in women at least 65-70% of the time. Good enough reason for you to ensure that you not just ‘kick the butt’ but make sure that it stays kicked! Just take a look at some of the statistics that the University of Alberta’s Mazankowski Heart Institute has researched and compiled:

Women smokers are at a two and half times more at a risk from sudden cardiac arrest due to smoking than non-smoking women. Alarming new research!

(Dr. Roopinder Sandhu at the University of Alberta’s Mazankowski Heart Institute, in Canada, report in the journal Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology)

Of course lots of people will put forth the foolish argument that smoking is not the only contributory factor. Well the good or bad news is that this study adjusted all the other possible risk factors that exposed women to heart attack like hypertension, diabetes, age etc and yet the link between smoking and sudden death remained as glaring as ever. In fact the study was able to even grade the risk for sudden death according to the number of cigarettes smoked. We reproduce those statistics:

Women who smoked the least 1 to 14 cigarettes were nearly two times more likely than nonsmokers to be at risk for sudden cardiac death. Women who smoked 25 or more cigarettes were more than three times as likely to die suddenly. Moreover, for every five years that a woman continued smoking, her risk of dying from a heart attack increased by 8%.

So you can see for yourself women the risk factor involved with smoking. There is currently great concern about how even second hand smoke or passive smoking can cause health hazards to everyone. Smokers love scoffing at the statistics and would probably ignore the truth even if it stared them in the eye. Here is what the study also found: Women who quit smoking increase their life span by at least ten years.

Why smoking affects heart health in females:

  1. Smoking alters the clotting patterns and increases blood platelet aggregations
  2. Decreases vital capacity of the heart
  3. Erodes the coronary artery plaques causing coronary thrombosis
  4. Stimulates the sympathetic nervous system