Smoking 'can lead to earlier strokes'

Stroke treatment could benefit from research which is said to have to have identified an important link between smoking and the condition.

University of Ottawa Heart Institute scientists found that in addition to doubling the risk of a stroke, smokers are likely to suffer the condition ten years earlier than non-smokers.

Smoking was also demonstrated to increase the risk of people who had a minor stroke suffering a major one by up to ten times.

Dr Andrew Pipe of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute hopes the findings will persuade people to quit the habit.

Once a person has stopped their risk of stroke or heart disease decreases and after 18 months to two years the increased threat level from smoking normalises to that of a non-smoker, said Dr. Pipe.

He explained that smoking increases the debris in arteries, making people more susceptible to clots.

The British Heart Foundation states that in 2009 49,000 people died from strokes in the UK.

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