Women smokers are more likely to develop heart disease than their male counterparts, a new study suggests.
Rachel R. Huxley of the University of Minnesota and Mark Woodward of Johns Hopkins University reviewed studies that took place between 1966 and 2010.
They also found that older women, specifically those in the 60 to 69 category, were significantly more at risk for the disease than women in the 30 to 44 age group, Med Page Today wrote.
Physiological differences between men and women may have something to do with it, the study's researchers suggest. These differences may be what cause women to absorb larger amounts of chemicals and carcinogens from cigarettes.
And heart disease is not the only thing women smokers should be worried about. Women who smoke are also most likely to die from lung cancer, the study showed. Also, even men who quit smoking are better off than women who quit.
"What makes the realization that women are at increased risk worrisome is that the tobacco industry views women as its growth market," doctors Matthew A. Steliga and Carolyn M. Dresler from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock wrote in an accompanying commentary, Med Page Today reported.
The study was published on the Web site of the medical journal The Lancet.