Early smokers likely to develop chronic problems sooner, StatsCan reports
Wednesday, February 12, 2003
OTTAWA (CP) - People who start smoking in their teens are twice as likely to develop chronic lung and heart problems or arthritis sooner than their non-smoking peers, Statistics Canada reported Wednesday.
The agency's community health survey from 2000-2001, found that the risks for heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and rheumatoid arthritis were far higher among people who began smoking as teenagers.
And in the case of obstructive pulmonary problems, women appeared to be more susceptible than men to the dangers of tobacco.
The survey found that by age 60, a third of men who started smoking as teens had one of these three conditions, while only 24 per cent of men who started smoking later were afflicted. Fourteen per cent of non-smokers had these conditions.
Among women, 41 per cent of those who started smoking as teens had such problems, compared with 17 per cent of non-smokers.
For obstructive pulmonary disease alone, teen smokers were three times more likely to develop the condition in later life than non-smokers. Their risk for heart disease was twice as high.
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