Tobacco smoke contains thousands of harmful chemicals that contribute to the development of serious diseases in the body. Although smoking is most commonly associated with lung cancer, the latest research shows that smokers are at risk of premature death from other conditions. What diseases affect smokers?
Despite the awareness of the harmfulness of cigarettes, many people still use them. The statistics are dramatic: almost a quarter of Poles (24 percent) smoke regularly. Adult smoking rates are declining, but the number of young people starting to smoke is increasing. About 500 underage boys and girls smoke their first cigarette in Poland every day.
According to research, most smokers start smoking even before the age of 18. The earlier a person reaches for a cigarette, the longer he or she remains a heavy smoker. Currently, almost 250 million young people in the world smoke cigarettes, which means that in the future we are threatened with a plague of tobacco-related diseases. What diseases are the most common consequences of smoking today?
Scientists: Smokers mostly die of vascular disease
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, smokers are more likely to die from a heart attack, heart failure or stroke than from lung cancer. Relatively few people are aware of the greatest danger.
Most people are aware of the risk of developing lung cancer associated with smoking, but many smokers are unaware that death from vascular disease is more likely than death from lung cancer, says Prof. Sadiya Khan, lead author of the work.
The first sign of cardiovascular disease in smokers can be fatal
This is the first study to show this relationship. This is important because in the US, one in five people still use tobacco. This percentage may have increased due to the pandemic – points out Prof. Khan. The authors of the analysis took into account data from several dozen years of observations of various groups of people of different ages, free from cardiovascular diseases at the beginning of the study. In total, it covered over 100 thousand. people.
One of the most important conclusions is that the first sign of cardiovascular disease in those who smoke is likely to be fatal. Smoking is more likely to kill a smoker through heart disease before someone knows they have the disease, the researcher warns.
Scientists: Half will develop cardiovascular disease in half of smokers
The analysis also showed that more than 50 percent of smokers aged 40-59 will develop cardiovascular disease and they are 1.8 percent. Young people who smoked were up to twice as likely to have a fatal cardiovascular event without prior symptoms as non-smokers. Smoking was associated with the development of cardiovascular diseases at an earlier age and shortened life expectancy by an average of 4-5 years.
– This is particularly important for public health, as the study included young people aged 20 and over and covered several dozen years of follow-up. Our study emphasizes the importance of helping people to quit smoking, which is the most important avoidable cause of death in the US, emphasizes Prof. Ranya.
Smoking kills 7 million people annually in the world. In Poland, 70,000 people die every year due to various smoking-related diseases.
Source: PAP, mp.pl