Smoking and Risk of Ischemic Stroke in Young Men

Stroke. 2018 May;49(5):1276-1278. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.117.018859. Epub 2018 Apr 19.


Background and purpose: There is a strong dose-response relationship between smoking and risk of ischemic stroke in young women, but there are few data examining this association in young men. We examined the dose-response relationship between the quantity of cigarettes smoked and the odds of developing an ischemic stroke in men under age 50 years.

Methods: The Stroke Prevention in Young Men Study is a population-based case-control study of risk factors for ischemic stroke in men ages 15 to 49 years. The χ2 test was used to test categorical comparisons. Logistic regression models were used to calculate the odds ratio for ischemic stroke occurrence comparing current and former smokers to never smokers. In the first model, we adjusted solely for age. In the second model, we adjusted for potential confounding factors, including age, race, education, hypertension, myocardial infarction, angina, diabetes mellitus, and body mass index.

Results: The study population consisted of 615 cases and 530 controls. The odds ratio for the current smoking group compared with never smokers was 1.88. Furthermore, when the current smoking group was stratified by number of cigarettes smoked, there was a dose-response relationship for the odds ratio, ranging from 1.46 for those smoking <11 cigarettes per day to 5.66 for those smoking 40+ cigarettes per day.

Conclusions: We found a strong dose-response relationship between the number of cigarettes smoked daily and ischemic stroke among young men. Although complete smoking cessation is the goal, even smoking fewer cigarettes may reduce the risk of ischemic stroke in young men.

Keywords: risk factors; smoke; smoking; stroke; tobacco products.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Angina Pectoris / epidemiology
  • Brain Ischemia / epidemiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cigarette Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Stroke / epidemiology*
  • Tobacco Products
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult