Women with high blood pressure who also smoke greatly increase their stroke risk, Finnish researchers report.
In fact, smoking women with high systolic blood pressure have a 20 times higher rate than healthy non-smoking men for a particular form of stroke — known as subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) — according to medical experts with the University of Helsinki, Helsinki University Central Hospital, and National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland.
The new study, published in the Public Library of Science journal PLOS ONE, also noted a history of heart attack, family history of stroke, and high cholesterol levels also increase stroke risk.
"We have previously shown that lifestyle risk factors affect significantly the life expectancy of SAH survivors, and now we have shown that the same risk factors also affect dramatically the risk of SAH itself," said researcher Jaakko Kaprio, from the University of Helsinki and National Institute for Health and Welfare.
"Thus, it appears quite clear that especially smoking cessation and hypertension treatment are important in preventing SAH and increasing life expectancy after SAH."
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