Exposure to secondhand smoke reduced

December 2, 2008

As the connection between second-hand smoke and coronary heart disease (CHD) became clearer and legislation was passed to reduce such passive smoking, exposures have been reduced. In an article published in the January 2009 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, Partners Healthcare, Boston and Columbia University have recalibrated the CHD Policy Model to better predict future trends in CHD.

At 1999჻� levels, passive smoking caused between 21,800 and 75,100 CHD deaths and between 38,100 and 128,900 myocardial infarctions annually. Treatment costs ranged from $1.8 to $6.0 billion per year. If recent trends in the reduction in the prevalence of passive smoking continue from 2000 to 2008, researchers predict that the burden would be reduced by approximately 25%󈞊%.

The CHD Policy Model is a computer simulation of CHD incidence, prevalence, mortality and costs in the US population aged >35 years. Using data from a variety of sources, such as the US Census, the Framingham Heart Study (FHS), the Framingham Offspring Study (FOS), the National Health and Nutrition Evaluation Survey (NHANES), the National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS) and the Year 2000 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), the researchers updated the Model to better predict how reduced second-hand smoke may reduce CHD.

Writing in the article, James M. Lightwood, PhD, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, University of California, San Francisco, states, "Exposure to passive smoking has been reduced by 25% to 40%, and its burden has been reduced by between 25% and 30% over the last 8󈝶 years, but the burden remains substantial‚ĶThe future burden of passive smoking may be driven mainly by political and legal processes to ban smoking in public areas and the workplace as well as campaigns to encourage smoke-free homes."

Source: Elsevier Health Sciences

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