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Surprising Science

Female Smokers at Higher Risk Than Men

A major study on women and smoking released by the World Health Organization last week provides further surprising evidence about how gender differences can affect health.

What’s the Latest Development?


Women who smoke face significantly higher cardiovascular health risks than men do suggests a major study on women and smoking released by the World Health Organization last week. The study, published in the medical journal The Lancet, found that women who smoke not only face a 25 percent higher risk of contracting heart disease but that, unlike men, their risk increases with each year they continue to smoke. An editorial in the Canadian newspaper the Ottawa Citizen says this is especially troubling because tobacco companies target women. 

What’s the Big Idea?

Recent data suggesting female smokers are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease than their male counterparts runs contrary to public perceptions. Men are generally considered to be at higher risk of heart disease, and a possible heart attack, while women are tested less often and more generally concerned with contracting cancer. “The worrisome study published in The Lancet should give women and their healthcare providers more reason to be vigilant about their health, their habits and their hearts,” says the Ottawa Citizen editorial. 


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