Smoking Spouses Shorten their Wives’ Lives

A research that examined the repeated effect of good habits on mortality in Asian women discovered that husbands who smoke at home are shortening their wives’ lives.

Also researches found out that Chinese women with various healthy habits usually live longer than their compatriot peers with less healthy lifestyles.

Smoking celebrity Patrick Swayze

Researches headed by Sarah Nechuta of Vanderbilt University in the United States used data from the Shanghai Women’s Health Study that collected information on more than 71000 non-smoking and non-drinking Chinese women aged 40-70 years between 1996 and 2000, and developed a healthy lifestyle score.

The healthy lifestyle score was based on five factors related to mortality, weight, waist-to-hip ratio, exposure to second-hand smoke, whether the woman were engaged in sports activities and also fruit and vegetable consumption.

The more healthy habits a woman had, the higher her score was, thus having no or few healthy habits gave her a low score.

The women who participated at the study were examined for around nine years, during which 2,860 of them died, 1,351 of cancer and 775 of cardiovascular disease.

Those women who died were more likely than survivors to be underweight, overweight or obese, they had higher waist-to-hip ratios, were not engaged in sort activities and ate less fruit and vegetables than survivors, according to the study.

“Probably the good news is that the majority of these factors can be improved by one’s motivation in order to eradicate unhealthy behaviors once and for all. For example, it would not be so difficult for women in China or elsewhere in Asia to raise the energy expenditure by engaging in some sport activities and eat more fruit and vegetables,” stated Wei Zheng, a co-author of the study and director of the epidemiology center at Vanderbilt.

Also the women who died were more likely than survivors to have had a husband who smoked, and that was a key player in al this situation.

Women in China and various Asian countries are exposed to tobacco smoke in a greater degree, because there is a high smoking prevalence among Asian men.

Changes in exposure to spousal smoking may start with raised awareness by both women and their husbands about the harmful health effects of smoking.

Making husbands to stop smoking for their wives will also require changes in the social environment and possible bans on smoking at home.

The majority of study combinations of established lifestyle factors and mortality were led in the US and Western Europe, where women’s lifestyles differ drastically from those of their Chinese counterparts, according to the study.

Researches on the health habits of Western women and longevity included those women who smoked and drank alcohol, something that many Asian women don’t do.

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