TUESDAY, June 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Smoking confers a greater increase in ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) risk to women than men, according to a study published in the July 2 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

James Palmer, M.B.Ch.B., from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a retrospective ecological cohort study involving all patients seen at a U.K. tertiary cardiothoracic center with acute STEMI between 2009 and 2014. The incidence rates of STEMI were generated, and age-standardized incidence rate ratios (IRRs) were calculated by comparing the STEMI rates for smokers and nonsmokers, stratified by sex and three age groups. A total of 3,343 patients with more than 5,639,328 person-years were included.

The researchers found that for current smokers, the peak STEMI rate was in the 70- to 79-year age range for women and 50- to 59-year age range for men (235 and 425 per 100,000 patient-years, respectively). The increase in STEMI rate associated with smoking was significantly greater for women than for men (IRR, 6.62 versus 4.40). Women aged 18 to 49 years had the greatest increase compared with men (IRR, 13.22 versus 8.60). The greatest risk difference was seen for those aged 50 to 64 years, with IRRs of 9.66 and 4.47 for women and men, respectively.

“Patients who smoke merit encouragement to give up their habit, and this study adds quantitative evidence to the benefits of doing so,” the authors write.

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