Smoking doubles your mortality and cuts ten years off your life

Pretty dramatic headline, I know, but this is what has come out of a population based prospective study from Japan, published in this month’s BMJ. Looking at over 65,000 patients, the authors found that mortality rates were 2.21 for men and 2.61 for women, with 8 years off life expectancy for men, and 10 for women. Interestingly, those who stopped smoking before 35 negated a great deal of the risk.

Clearly, smoking is harmful, but sometimes it helps to have hard numbers to present to patients, and here they are. Of course, it’s not just about mortality – a lot of patients say they would happily continue to smoke and live a shorter life – it’s about the crippling morbidity. Dyspnoea from emphysema and ischaemic heart disease, pain from peripheral vascular disease, and of course, the increased rate of malignancy all mean more time in hospital.

Check out this paper from Hiroshima and Nagasaki over at the BMJ, here

 

source | BMJ 2012;345:e7093

image | Wikimedia Commons 

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