Smoking after stroke increases death risk by three-fold

August 28, 2012

Patients who resume smoking after a stroke increase their risk of death by three-fold, according to research presented at ESC Congress 2012 by Professor Furio Colivicchi from San Filippo Neri Hospital. The researchers also found that the earlier patients resume smoking, the greater their risk of death with one year.

"It is well established that smoking increases the risk of having a stroke," said Professor Colivicchi. "Quitting smoking after an acute may be more effective than any medication in reducing the risk of further adverse events. However, on the other hand, our study shows that resuming active smoking after leaving the hospital can raise their risk of dying by as much as three-fold."

The purpose of the study was to gauge the effects of resuming smoking after a stroke, and to see how many patients are likely to relapse. from S. Filippo Neri Hospital in Rome, in collaboration with from the Santa Lucia Foundation of Rome, tracked 921 patients (584 men and 337 women, mean age 67 ± 16 years) who reported being regular smokers before they were hospitalized with .

All patients ceased smoking while in the hospital and declared themselves motivated to continue abstaining once they were discharged. In addition, all patients attended brief smoking cessation counseling sessions while in the hospital, but no or other smoking cessation help was provided after they left the hospital.

Patients were interviewed about their smoking status at one, six, and 12 months after their release from the hospital and by the end of the first year 493 (53%) had resumed regular smoking. Older patients and women were more likely to relapse.

Within a year 89 patients died, which equates to a one-year probability of death of 9.6%. After adjusting for patient ages and other clinical variables such as stroke severity, presence of diabetes, hypertension or , the researchers found that resuming smoking raised a person's risk of death by about three-fold compared to patients who didn't relapse. Moreover, the earlier a patient relapsed, the more likely he or she was to die within a year. "In fact, those who resumed smoking within 10 days of leaving the hospital were five times more likely to die within a year than those who continued to abstain," said Professor Colivicchi.

He added: "The results of this study suggest that healthcare providers should take interventions more seriously, as recommended treatments are not making their way into practice. A successful programme to help stroke patients quit smoking should take a comprehensive long-term approach, including individual counseling, post-discharge support and pharmacological treatment."

Explore further: Smoking causes stroke to occur

Related Stories

Smoking causes stroke to occur

October 3, 2011
Not only are smokers twice as likely to have strokes, they are almost a decade younger than non-smokers when they have them, according to a study presented today at the Canadian Stroke Congress.

Smokers with comorbid conditions need help from their doctor to quit

August 23, 2011
Smokers who also have alcohol, drug and mental disorders would benefit greatly from smoking cession counseling from their primary care physicians and would be five times more successful at kicking the habit, a study by researchers ...

Many people continue to smoke after being diagnosed with cancer

January 23, 2012
A new analysis has found that a substantial number of lung and colorectal cancer patients continue to smoke after being diagnosed. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, ...

Recommended for you

How genes and environment interact to raise risk of congenital heart defects

October 19, 2017
Infants of mothers with diabetes have a three- to five-fold increased risk of congenital heart defects. Such developmental defects are likely caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. However, the molecular ...

Mouse studies shed light on how protein controls heart failure

October 18, 2017
A new study on two specially bred strains of mice has illuminated how abnormal addition of the chemical phosphate to a specific heart muscle protein may sabotage the way the protein behaves in a cell, and may damage the way ...

Newborns with trisomy 13 or 18 benefit from heart surgery, study finds

October 18, 2017
Heart surgery significantly decreases in-hospital mortality among infants with either of two genetic disorders that cause severe physical and intellectual disabilities, according to a new study by a researcher at the Stanford ...

Saving hearts after heart attacks: Overexpression of a gene enhances repair of dead muscle

October 17, 2017
University of Alabama at Birmingham biomedical engineers report a significant advance in efforts to repair a damaged heart after a heart attack, using grafted heart-muscle cells to create a repair patch. The key was overexpressing ...

Physically active white men at high risk for plaque buildup in arteries

October 17, 2017
White men who exercise at high levels are 86 percent more likely than people who exercise at low levels to experience a buildup of plaque in the heart arteries by middle age, a new study suggests.

High blood pressure linked to common heart valve disorder

October 17, 2017
For the first time, a strong link has been established between high blood pressure and the most common heart valve disorder in high-income countries, by new research from The George Institute for Global Health at the University ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.