The study, which was conducted by experts from the University of Minnesota and the University of Maryland involved pooling data on approximately 4 million individuals from 86 different studies.
After taking into account various risk factors, the researchers concluded that the increased risk of heart disease linked to smoking was 25% higher for females than for males.
Though the exact reason for the difference is unknown, experts believe it could be linked to toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke having a more potent effect on women due to biological differences.
The study also revealed that the longer a women smoked for the greater her risk of heart disease was compared to men who had been smoking for the same amount of time. For each year a women smoked, her risk of heart disease increased by 2%.
The authors of the study, Dr Rachel Huxley and Dr Mark Woodward wrote in the report: “Women might extract a greater quantity of carcinogens and other toxic agents from the same number of cigarettes than men.
“This occurrence could explain why women who smoke have double the risk of lung cancer compared with their male counterparts.”
Senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, Ellen Mason, said: “It’s alarming to see such a large study confirm that women are so much more at risk of heart disease from smoking than men.”
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View the original Guardian article.