Smoking increases risk of deadly brain aneurysms: study
OTTAWA - Yet another reason to stop smoking: A recent study has found that smoking cigarettes could increase the chances of developing large, deadly brain aneurysms.
A brain aneurysm is a balloon-like structure filled with blood that forms at a weak spot in a blood vessel. If the aneurysm ruptures or bursts, the result is either instant death or a severe medical emergency such as a stroke. The larger the aneurysm, the greater the risk of it rupturing.
Researchers at the University of Buffalo and the University of Colorado studied 298 people with brain aneurysms. Ninety-two percent of those studied with brain aneurysms larger than 24 millimetres were also smokers.
In contrast, only 66% of people with aneurysms smaller than 13 millimetres were smokers, said the researchers, whose results were published in the journal Neurosurgery.
"It is clear from our study that smoking leads to growth of larger aneurysms," said Dr. Lee Guterman, one of the authors of the study.
While family history and high blood pressure are connected to the formation of large brain aneurysms, smoking is the only risk factor that can be easily eliminated by the patient.