Editorials

Abdominal aortic aneurysm events in postmenopausal women

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a1894 (Published 15 October 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1894
  1. Janet T Powell, professor1,
  2. Paul E Norman, professor of vascular surgery2
  1. 1Vascular Surgery Research Group, Imperial College, Charing Cross Campus, London W6 8RP
  2. 2School of Surgery, University of Western Australia, Fremantle Hospital, PO Box 480, Fremantle, WA 6959, Australia
  1. j.powell{at}imperial.ac.uk

    Smoking remains the main culprit

    Smoking is the dominant risk factor for abdominal aortic aneurysm in both men and women. In the linked cohort study from the women’s health initiative, Lederle and colleagues assess the potential risk factors for clinically relevant abdominal aortic aneurysm in 161 808 postmenopausal women. They show that current smokers have a four times greater risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm events and all those who have smoked more than 100 cigarettes have a twofold increase in risk, even if they have given up smoking.1

    Smoking increases the relative risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm four times in both men and women, and the risk for ischaemic heart disease or peripheral arterial disease is increased twofold.2 Previous studies have associated both early onset of smoking and total …

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