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HHS HealthBeat (January 9, 2013)

A little smoking, a sudden death

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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Any smoking is a health hazard, and a look at what happened with even light to moderate smoking underscores that. A researcher in Canada – Roopinder Sandhu of the Mazankowski Heart Institute in Edmonton, Alberta – saw it in data on more than 100,000 women in a U.S. database.

Sandhu was examining sudden cardiac death – when the heart stops:

“Even small to moderate quantities of daily smoking were associated with almost a two-fold increase in sudden cardiac death risk, compared with women who never smoked.”

Small to moderate is one to 14 cigarettes a day.

Sandhu says women who quit could eventually reduce their risk to that of someone who never smoked.

The study in the journal Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: January 9, 2013