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Smoking and Stroke Risk

Topic Overview

Smoking injures blood vessel walls and speeds up hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). As a result, the heart works harder, and blood pressure may increase. Cigarette smoking increases your risk for transient ischemic attack (TIA) and stroke.

Heavy smokers are at greater risk for TIA and stroke. Daily cigarette smoking can increase the risk of stroke by 2½ times.1

The risk of stroke and TIA decreases for those who quit smoking. If you smoked less than one pack a day and you quit, within 5 years your risk will be the same as though you had never smoked.1

References

Citations

  1. Kasner SE, Moss HE (2010). Cerebrovascular disorders. In EG Nabel, ed., ACP Medicine, section 11, chap. 4. Hamilton, ON: BC Decker.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Richard D. Zorowitz, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Last Revised August 26, 2013

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