Kaiser Permanente Study Finds Smoking Doubles the Risk of Premature Heart Disease

Kaiser Permanente Study Finds Smoking Doubles the Risk of Premature Heart Disease

A recent Kaiser Permanente study shows, “Young adults who smoke cigarettes are twice as likely to develop premature heart disease as young adults who do not smoke.” Published November 17 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, their research highlights the importance of continued efforts to keep young people from starting to smoke cigarettes and to encourage those who do smoke to quit.

Study Details

The researchers used electronic medical records to identify 871,989 Kaiser Permanente Northern California members between the ages of 30 and 55 who had no history of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) in 2005. This type of heart disease occurs when fatty deposits, called plaque, build up in the arteries, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Overall, 13.7% of the young adults in the study were former smokers and 16.5% were current smokers. The analyses showed that the current smokers had more than two times the risk of developing ASCVD compared to the never smokers. The risk of developing ASCVD was lower in former smokers, but still higher than it was in never smokers.

Importance to Women

These findings are especially important for women. In...

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