Smoking leads to cancer of the lungs, as well as to other afflictions of the lungs. While that is a well-known fact, even for smokers, it seems that smoking in this day and age is much more likely to lead to chronic obstructive lung disease and to lung cancer than it was two or four decades ago – that is, if you’re a woman. That’s the conclusion of one research report, led by the former VP of the American Cancer Society. The study has found that, while medicine as a whole, and cancer medication in particular, has made significant strides from the 1970s up until the present moment, women are actually more exposed to lung issues now than they were then.
The researchers took a look at mortality trends over the course of five decades and correlated them with smoking habits during three specific spans of time: 1959 to 1965, 1982 to 1988, and the decade of the noughties (2000 to 2010). They used data sets as provided by five major previous studies, as well as two historical American Cancer Society studies. The total data set amounted to some 2.2 million Americans, aged 55 and over. The results were grim, especially with respect to the evolution of the prevalence of cancer and chronic obstructive lung disease in women. Over the ages, it seems, women have come to smoke more and more. Historically speaking, women smoked the most ever during the 1980s; however, even in current times their patterns appear similar.
During the 1960s, a female smoker was 2.7 times more likely to die of lung cancer than a non-smoking counterpart, and 4.0 times more likely to die of chronic obstructive lung disease. By 2000 to 2010, those odds had ‘improved’ for smokers, in that they were 25.7 times more at risk of lung cancer than non-smokers, and 22.5 more at risk of developing chronic obstructive lung disease. The incidence for both illnesses in female smokers increased mostly during the 1990s and 2000s. At the moment, women stand just about as high a chance as men to develop lung cancer, chronic obstructive lung disease, and various types of heart disease, as well as to die of a stroke. Meanwhile, a male smoker’s risk of dying from lung cancer seems to have peaked in the 1980s and has been maintained at a relatively stable level since. Men’s risks for developing chronic obstructive lung disease continue to increase to this day, though the researchers were unable to work out precisely why this upward trend is developing.
There is still hope, where lung cancer and smokers are concerned, as other recent medical studies have revealed that quitting during the early stages of diagnosis may significantly benefit the sufferer in the long term. And with modern technological means like the Blu electronic cigarette available at their disposal, smokers can now safely switch to a way of inhaling nicotine that involves absolutely no smoke whatsoever. In the meantime, women smokers must bear in mind that smoking the same amount of traditional tobacco cigarettes as men will only bring them to the same level of health risks as them.
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