New dangers relating to cigarettes emerge all the time. Now a recent meta-analysis published in the Lancet is saying women have a significant increased risk of 25% for coronary heart disease caused by cigarettes.

Analysts Dr. Rachel Huxley and Dr. Mark Woodward looked at data from 2.4 million participants in a study that adjusted for cardiovascular risk factors, and found that the female-to-male relative risk ratio (RRR) of smoking when compared to non-smoking was 1.25, with an additional 2% increase in the RRR annually for women.

"It will be some years before the full effect of smoking on coronary heart disease risk is known in women," they wrote. In addition, women smokers tend to consume fewer cigarettes than men and may be more likely to under report their smoking habit.

The Lancet published an article stating that the increased risk of developing coronary heart disease conferred by smoking is 25% higher for women compared with men. The authors suggested that this may be due to physiological differences between the sexes and that women may see increased effect of potency from the cigarette toxins.

"Cigarette smoking is one of the main causes of coronary heart disease worldwide and will remain so as populations that have so far been relatively unscathed by the smoking epidemic begin to smoke to a degree previously noted only in high-income countries. This expectation is especially true for young women in whom the popularity of smoking, particularly in some low-income and middle-income countries, might be on the rise," stated the article.

In conclusion, physicians and health professionals should be encouraged to increase their efforts at promotion the cessation of smoking in all individuals. Present trends in female smoking, and this report, suggest that inclusion of a female perspective in tobacco-control policies is crucial.

"What makes the realization that women are at increased risk worrisome is that the tobacco industry views women as its growth market," commented Matthew Steliga and Carolyn Dresler, both doctors.

The article was authored by Dr. Rachel R Huxley, Division of Epidemiology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA, and Dr. Mark Woodward, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.