Men younger than 50: The more you smoke, the more you stroke

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Men under 50 who smoked were more likely to have a stroke, and their risk increased with the number of cigarettes they smoked, according to new research in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke.

An increasing number of young adults are suffering , which is the most common stroke type. Tobacco use is on the rise among young adults. It is already established that the more young women smoke the greater their ; however, little is known about young men's stroke risk from smoking.

"The key takeaway from our study on men younger than 50 is 'the more you smoke, the more you stroke,'" said lead study author Janina Markidan, B.A., a medical student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.

Researchers studied 615 young men (age 15-49) who had a stroke in the prior three years. Researchers compared the men with stroke to 530 healthy men in the same age range. They also categorized participants as never smokers, former smokers and current smokers. Current smokers were divided into groups based on the number of cigarettes smoked daily, 1 to 10, 11 to 20, 21 to 39 or 40 or more.

Researchers found:

  • Men who smoked were 88 percent more likely to have a stroke than men who never smoked.
  • Among current smokers, men who smoked fewer than 11 cigarettes daily were 46 percent more likely to have a stroke than those who never smoked.
  • But the heavier smokers, smoking at least two packs a day, were nearly 5 times, more likely to have a stroke than those who never smoked.

"The goal is to get these to stop smoking, however if they can smoke fewer cigarettes it could help reduce their risk," Markidan said.

Researchers did not record the concurrent use of other tobacco products which could have affected results. They also did not control for factors such as alcohol consumption, physical activity or recall bias. However, similar findings in a Swedish study, suggested that there was not a major effect from recall bias.

More information: Stroke (2018). DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.117.018859

Journal information: Stroke

Citation: Men younger than 50: The more you smoke, the more you stroke (2018, April 19) retrieved 3 December 2023 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

Just one cigarette a day carries greater risk of heart disease and stroke than expected, warn expert


Feedback to editors