We’ve know for some time that second hand smoke results in a higher risk of heart disease, now new research indicates an increased risk of stroke for the partners of smokers.
In a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (September 2008), researchers report that for those who never smoked, being married to a current smoker was associated with a 42% increase in risk of stroke compared to being married to a never-smoker. For former smokers, being married to a current smoker was associated with a 72% increase in risk compared to being married to a never-smoker. Being married to a former smoker was not associated with any increase in risk compared to being married to a never-smoker. This suggests that although stroke risk is elevated if your spouse smokes, that risk is eliminated if your spouse stops smoking.
The study shows that the health benefits of quitting smoking likely extend beyond individual smokers to affect their spouses, potentially multiplying the benefits of smoking cessation.
For still one more reason to quit smoking, see “Beauty Thief” in the September issue of Best Health (on newsstands August 4).
Has your health been affected by your partner’s smoking? Or vice versa?