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Earlier heart attacks for female smokers

September 3, 2008 8:25:06 AM PDT
Women who smoke have heart attacks 15 years earlier than nonsmoking women, according to a new study.Norwegian scientists looked at over 1,700 heart attack patients and found women on average had their first heart attack at age 81 if they didn't smoke, and at age 66 if they did. That's a 15 year difference.

In men, that gap is smaller -- only six years.

Doctors believe estrogen may protect women's hearts, but smoking can bring on early menopause, leaving them more vulnerable to heart attacks.

 

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