Smokers With Low Educational Level Have Greater Stroke Risk Interview with:
Helene Nordahl, MS, PhD
Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen
Copenhagen, Denmark.

Medical Research: What are the main findings of this study?

Dr. Nordahl: The combined effect of low educational level and smoking on the risk of stroke is the most surprising finding of our paper. In other words, we found that smokers with low educational level had a greater risk of stroke than smokers with high education. Suggesting that people, particularly men, with lower educational level were more vulnerable to the effect of current smoking than those with higher educational level.

The overall implications of this study is that reducing smoking in those with low educational level could potentially yield a greater reduction in stroke than targeting the same behaviors in the higher educated.

Since the most disadvantaged groups are often exposed to a wide number of stroke risk factors, it seems plausible that these people are at increased risk of stroke not only in Denmark but also in the US. However, the distributions of stroke risk factors may vary across various contexts and study populations. Thus, further cross-country comparative research with in this field is needed.


Combined Effects of Socioeconomic Position, Smoking, and Hypertension on Risk of Ischemic and Hemorrhagic Stroke
Helene Nordahl,Merete Osler,Birgitte Lidegaard Frederiksen,Ingelise Andersen,Eva Prescott,Kim Overvad,Finn Diderichsen,and Naja Hulvej Rod

Stroke. 2014;STROKEAHA.114.005252published online before print August 14 2014, doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.114.005252