Jan 19, 2015
By Jane Brown
Women who smoke cigarettes are just as likely as men to develop potentially fatal aneurysms in the main artery leading from the heart. Authors of a new study say it may be time to give women the same advice as men in recommending screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm after the age of 65 for people who have smoked or continue to smoke.
AAA occurs when a person’s aorta swells to a larger size and symptoms may include a pulsing feeling, swelling or pain in the stomach area. A team of U.S. researchers from the University of Queensland School of Medicine-Oschner Clinical School program in New Orleans analyzed data from a long term study of 18 792 people, 65 and over. Smoking was the strongest risk factor. Former smokers, both men and women, faced almost twice the risk of people who’d never smoked. And current male or female smokers faced an overall risk five and a half times that of those who’d never smoked.