Cigarettes Cause More Damage On Women

Researchers have recently discovered that women may become more susceptible to the toxic effects of cigarette smoking than men. A study headed by Dr. Inga-Cecilie  Soerheim of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and the University of Bergen in Norway showed proof that it takes less cigarette exposure for women to develop certain physical damage than in men. Women who smoke also seem to develop lung damage earlier than men.

The study involved analyzing 954 people in Norway who were suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which included other lung problems such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. The study group composed of 60 percent men and 40 percent women. All of them were either current or former smokers. Overall, both the men and the women groups suffered from similar lung conditions. But when the researchers looked into the younger, under 60 age groups and those who were light smokers, they discovered that women suffered the more severe diseases and had worse lung problems than the men.

According to Dr. Soerheim, "This (finding) means that female smokers in our study experienced reduced lung function at a lower level of smoking exposure and at an earlier age than men". Women are more affected by cigarette smoking than men which the researchers suspect may b due to the differences between men and women when it comes to anatomy. Women are known to have smaller airways than men, which may be a possible reason for the said findings. Hormones may also play a possible role.

The study may be an indication that smokers who think that their own habits may be quite minimal or limited to be harmful may be in for a surprise, especially for women. "Many people believe that their own smoking is too limited to be harmful – that a few cigarettes a day represent a minimal risk However, in the low exposure group in this study, half of the women actually had severe COPD," Dr. Soerheim further added in a statement.



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