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Study Shows Fall in Heart Attacks After Italian Smoking Ban

The Italian Government banned smoking in all indoor public places on Jan. 10, 2005. A new study suggests that this has resulted in a fall of 11 percent in hospital heart-attack admissions in those under age 60.Hospital admissions for acute heart attack in people under age 60 fell by 11 per cent in the Piedmont region of Italy in the five months after the introduction of a ban on smoking in indoor public places, compared with admissions for the same period in the previous year, according to the study, which was published in the European Heart Journal.

Dr. Francesco Barone-Adesi, a cancer researcher at the Cancer Epidemiology Unit at the University of Turin, says that smoking acts on the aggregation of platelets in the blood and was most likely to increase acutely the risk of acute myocardial infarction.

“It suggests that smoking regulations may have important short-term effects on health,” he says. “The long-term effects on respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and cancer will have to be evaluated over the years to come.”

The researchers observed reduction in active smoking after the ban could account for only a 0.7% decrease in admissions and that about a 10% decrease is due to the sharp reduction of exposure to passive smoking.

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