Smoking Tied To Increased Heart Failure Risk in African-Americans

African-American adults who smoke are at higher risk of being hospitalized with heart failure than those who used to smoke or have never smoked, a new study shows.

For people who smoke, the results “should add more fuel to the discussion” about quitting, said the study’s senior author Dr. Michael E. Hall, a cardiologist at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

Cigarette smoking increases risk for different types of heart problems. The new study published Monday in Circulation suggests that smoking may help explain why African-Americans are at higher risk than white people of developing heart failure, a condition that occurs when the heart is weakened and cannot properly pump blood.

For the study, Hall and his colleagues analyzed data collected over eight years from 4,129 people taking part in the Jackson Heart Study, a long-running study of risk factors for heart disease in African-Americans. None of the study participants had been diagnosed with heart disease or stroke when the study started. Among the group, 2,884 had never smoked; 503 were current smokers and 742 were former smokers.

Studies have shown smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to