(HealthDay News) — Middle-aged women and men who smoke have an increased risk for having a fatal cardiovascular disease (CVD) event as their first sign of CVD, according to a study published online in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Sadiya S. Khan, MD, from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues pooled individual-level data from 9 population-based US cohorts to examine the association between smoking status and total CVD and CVD subtypes, including fatal and nonfatal coronary heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, and other CVD deaths. Data were included for 106,165 adults (50.4% women).

The researchers found that for middle-aged men and women, the overall long-terms risks for CVD events were 46.0 and 34.7%, respectively. Compared with those who did not smoke, middle-aged men who reported smoking had higher competing hazard ratios for the first presentation being a fatal CVD event (hazard ratio, 1.79), with a similar pattern seen for women (hazard ratio, 1.82). In men and women, smoking was associated with earlier CVD onset by 5.1 and 3.8 years, respectively. Patterns were similar for younger and older adults.

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“Another notable finding among people who smoked was the early onset of CVD, and among those who developed CVD, how much younger they were,” Khan said in a statement. “There’s not a lot of research on young adults who smoke, particularly among young men. Our study adds important perspective.”

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text