(NEW YORK) -- A new study warns that smoking after a stroke triples the risk of death within a year, Health Day reports.
Researchers also found that the sooner stroke survivors took up the habit again, the risk for death within one year increased. Investigators from Italy looked at 921 patients who smoked regularly before experiencing an ischemic stroke, which occurs when blood flow is cut off to the brain. The patients all attended smoking-cessation counseling sessions during their hospital stays, and expressed motivation to not smoke after leaving the hospital, according to the report.
By the end of the first year, 53 percent of the patients had begun smoking again, with older patients and women being the most likely to relapse. Within one year, 89 patients passed away, which works out to a probability of death within one year at 9.6 percent, Health Day says.
A researcher said the study revealed that patients who take up smoking after leaving the hospital can increase their chance of death by as much as threefold, and patients who begin smoking within ten days of leaving the hospital can increase their risk of death within the first year by as many as five times.
The study was presented in Munich at the European Society of Cardiology's annual meeting.
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