Two recent small studies revealed that women may be more vulnerable to the carcinogens and other dangerous substances in cigarette smoke. In these studies, women who smoked were diagnosed at a younger age with lung cancer and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) than men who smoked. The women even smoked LESS than the men in the studies. In 2000, more women died from COPD as compared to men according to Dr. DeMeo, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
However, Dr. Thun, the emeritus director of epidemiology at the American Cancer Society believes the risks of developing lung cancer is similar in men and women, smokers and non-smokers, but the type of cancer differs.
The bottom line is that smoking is known to be a major contributor to lung cancer and COPD. Thun adds that if smokers quit before the age of 50, they can avoid most of the risk of developing these illnesses.
“Take Charge: A Woman’s Guide to a Healthier Heart” discusses how women can stop smoking, help control their cholesterol and other risk factors to prevent a heart attack, stroke and diabetes. “Take Charge: A Man’s Roadmap to a Healthier Heart” is due to be released Fall 2009. For more info visit www.heart-strong.com