Smokeless tobacco increases risk of heart attack and stroke

Aug 20, 2009

People who use smokeless tobacco products like snus have a slightly higher risk of having a fatal heart attack or stroke, according to research published on bmj.com today.

In the past few decades there has been an increase in the number of people in Europe and North America using , particularly among people younger than 40. Given that these products are being promoted as 'safer' alternatives to , the number of individuals using them is set to increase, says the study.

The research team, led by Dr Paolo Boffetta at International Agency for Research on Cancer in France, analysed the results of 11 studies carried out in Sweden and North America on the use of smokeless tobacco products and the risk of developing or dying from a heart attack or .

Differences in study design and quality were taken into account to minimise bias.

They found a small increased risk of death from a or stroke among users of smokeless tobacco products compared with non-users. Smokeless tobacco caused 0.5% of all heart attacks in the United States and 5.6% in Sweden. The products were also the cause of 1.7% of stroke deaths in the United States and 5.4% in Sweden.

The authors conclude that, although the magnitude of the excess risk, particularly for fatal myocardial infarction, was small, the consistency of the results among studies and their robustness with respect to study design and quality added to their credibility.

If the association is real, the authors believe that its public health and clinical implications might be substantial and they call for more research in this area.

Source: British Medical Journal (news : web)

Explore further: With kids in school, parents can work out

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Is snuff the answer to quitting smoking?

Sep 18, 2006

Researchers in Washington say smokeless tobacco is much safer than cigarettes but the jury is out on whether smokers should be encouraged to switch habits.

Does Smokeless Tobacco Help Smokers Quit Cigarettes?

Jan 26, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Some smokers say they just can’t quit cigarettes. But previous studies of smokers in Sweden have suggested that many have done just that, by switching to smokeless tobacco. While not without health risks, ...

Smokeless tobacco safer than smoking

Jul 28, 2009

Smokeless tobacco products, as used in Europe and North America, do not appear to increase cancer risk. A large meta-analysis, published in the open access journal BMC Medicine, has shown that snuff as used in Scandinavia has no ...

Recommended for you

With kids in school, parents can work out

16 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Back-to-school time provides an opportunity for parents to develop an exercise plan that fits into the family schedules, an expert suggests.

Obama offers new accommodations on birth control

20 hours ago

The Obama administration will offer a new accommodation to religious nonprofits that object to covering birth control for their employees. The measure allows those groups to notify the government, rather than their insurance ...

Use a rule of thumb to control how much you drink

20 hours ago

Sticking to a general rule of pouring just a half glass of wine limits the likelihood of overconsumption, even for men with a higher body mass index. That's the finding of a new Iowa State and Cornell University ...

User comments : 0