CVD Events Increased for Cancer Patients Who Continue Smoking After Diagnosis

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

Risk increased for quitters, initiators/relapsers, and continuing smokers versus sustained nonsmokers

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, June 2, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Cancer patients who continue smoking after their diagnosis have an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, or death due to cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared with nonsmokers, according to a study published online June 1 in the European Heart Journal.

Hyeok-Hee Lee, M.D., from the Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues examined the patterns and cardiovascular consequences of postdiagnosis smoking habit change among 309,095 cancer survivors. Participants were categorized according to changes in smoking habits between exams performed within two years before cancer and within three years after cancer. The primary outcome was a composite CVD event, defined as the first hospitalization for myocardial infarction, stroke, or cardiovascular death.

Of the participants, 80.9 percent were sustained nonsmokers, and 10.1, 1.5, and 7.5 percent quit smoking, initiated or relapsed to smoking, and continued smoking, respectively. The researchers observed 10,255 new CVD events during a median follow-up of 5.5 years. For CVD events, the cumulative incidence was highest among continuing smokers, followed by initiators/relapsers, quitters, and sustained nonsmokers; the multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios were 1.20 for quitters, 1.51 for initiators/relapsers, and 1.86 for continuing smokers compared with sustained nonsmokers. For CVD events, the multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio was 0.64 among quitters compared with continuing smokers.

“Some individuals may find solace in successfully reducing their smoking without completely quitting,” Lee said in a statement. “However, our results imply that smoking less should not be the ultimate goal and that smokers should quit altogether to gain the benefits of kicking the habit entirely.”

Several authors disclosed ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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