New research published in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke, has found that stroke survivors who smoke are at greater risk of additional strokes, heart attack or death than those who have never smoked.
The study involved almost 1,600 stroke survivors between 1996 and 1999, and looked at the recurrent strokes and heart attacks, as well as the occurrence of deaths in a ten year period.
Smokers who suffered stroke had a 30 per cent greater risk of death, heart attack and additional strokes than those who had not smoked.
Professor Amanda Thrift of Monash University's Southern Clinical School said that smoking appeared to have a bigger impact on younger patients and that smokers could be putting themselves at risk.
"People who smoked in our study were younger, more often male, and more often from a disadvantaged background. Although we want everyone to give up smoking, raising awareness among this group is important," Professor Thrift said.
"We have long known that people who smoke have a greater chance of having a stroke. What we now know is that not only are smokers at greater risk of stroke, but that when they suffer a stroke they have poorer long-term outcomes."
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