Health Watch - Stroke: Smoking

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about stroke, in recognition of American Stroke Month in May. Some of the damage from many strokes can be prevented with timely treatment, but it’s even better to prevent the stroke itself.

One of the risk factors for stroke is smoking, and you don’t have to be a heavy smoker to put yourself at risk. Dr. Jarett Berry, an internist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says even an occasional cigarette raises your risk for stroke, heart disease and lung cancer. While overall smoking rates are decreasing in the United States, doctors are concerned that “social” or “casual” smoking is on the rise among young people. Even non-smokers who spend a lot of time in smoky environments like bars and nightclubs have a higher risk. To protect yourself, you should avoid smoking entirely and spend as little time as possible around smoke.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in heart, lung and vascular.


May 2009

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