People with atrial fibrillation- the most common heart rhythm disorder- should quit smoking to reduce stroke risk, warn scientists.
Previous studies have shown that smokers are more likely to develop atrial fibrillation and subsequent stroke.
“Smoking precipitates blood clots that could lead to a stroke, which may be why giving up lowers risk,” reported news agency IANS quoting study author So-Ryoung Lee from the Seoul National University Hospital in South Korea.
Lee further said that the remaining stroke risk after quitting might be through the damage already caused to the arteries and this is called atherosclerosis.
The study examined the association between smoking cessation after newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation and the risks of stroke and all-cause death.
The researchers included the 97,637 Korean patients who had a national health check-up less than two years before being diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, and a second check-up within two years afterwards.
Patients were followed-up after the second check-up until the end of 2017 for the occurrence of stroke or death.
The average age was 61 years and 62 per cent were men.
It may be mentioned here that the participants were classified according to the smoking status before and after atrial fibrillation diagnosis- never-smoker, ex-smoker, quitter, current smoker.
The proportion of never smokers, ex-smokers, quitters, and current smokers was 51.2 per cent, 27.3 per cent, 6.9 per cent, and 14.6 per cent, respectively.