Stroke victims urged 'stop smoking'
One in ten people who smoke after a stroke die within a year, campaigners have warned.
The Irish Heart Foundation will mark World Stroke Day on Monday calling on patients to quit the habit.
Dr Angie Brown, medical director, said continuing to smoke after stroke is extremely dangerous and could cost your life within 12 months of surviving a stroke.
"A stroke is a serious medical emergency which often proves fatal and for those who do survive, recovery can mean many months of tough rehabilitation," she said.
"By continuing to smoke, patients not only risk undoing the hard work of their recovery but they are risking their lives and may not see their next birthday a year later because of it.
"This World Stroke Day we call on all smokers after stroke to quit today and live longer tomorrow."
Researchers in Rome observed 921 patients who were active smokers before suffering an acute ischaemic stroke. The average patient age was 67 years.
Results showed that half of these patients returned to regular smoking after a year and almost 10% of patients died within 12 months.
And those who were back smoking just 10 days after a stroke, were five times more likely to die within a year than those who stayed off the cigarettes.
Dr Brown continued: "At the Irish Heart Foundation we know quitting smoking is not easy and we encourage smokers after stroke to get in touch with our nurses. It's never too late to quit smoking and the benefits start to happen immediately."