Smokeless tobacco increases stroke risk ..

December 2, 2008 - Use of oral moist snuff, a type of smokeless tobacco, also known as snus, may increase the risk of fatal stroke. To figure out the risk of stroke among smokeless tobacco users, researchers from America examined data on 118,465 construction workers who attended health check-ups between 1978 and 1993 and completed questionnaires that included information on tobacco use. None of the participants ever smoked or had a history of stroke. The researchers monitored data regarding illness and death from stroke among participants from the city register.

During an average of 18 years of follow-up, 3,248 men suffered a stroke. Most of these (70 percent) were ischemic strokes due to restricted blood flow ischemic, whereas 17 percent were hemorrhagic or bleeding strokes. Thirteen percent of strokes were unspecified. Overall, 29 percent of the subjects had ever used snuff. The overall relative risk of stroke was not increased in these ever users of snuff. However, for fatal stroke, the relative risk of 27 percent was found to be higher among ever-users of snuff compared with never users. This was mainly driven by an increased 38 percent risk of fatal stroke among current users of snuff.

Further, a 71 percent increased risk of fatal ischemic stroke was found to be associated with current snuff use. No increased risk was observed for hemorrhagic stroke. The above findings suggest that snuff use may elevate the risk of fatal stroke, particularly of fatal ischemic stroke.

PAPER:Smokeless Tobacco and the Risk of Stroke Hergens, Maria-Pia (, Lambe, Mats, Pershagen, Goran, Terent, Andreas; Ye, Weimin, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. Epidemiology 19(6):794-799, November 2008. ABSTRACT..

Reference: Smokeless tobacco increases stroke risk,, 12/2/2008.

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