Quitting Smoking Cuts Cardiac Risk, Despite Weight Gain

(HealthDay News) – Smoking cessation reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in people without diabetes, even after taking subsequent weight gain into account, according to a study in the March 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Carole Clair, MD, from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues analyzed data on smoking status, cardiovascular disease events, and weight gain from 3,251 participants in the Framingham Offspring Study.

After a mean follow-up of 25 years, the researchers identified 631 cardiovascular disease events. The median four-year weight gain was significantly greater for recent quitters than long-term quitters, both with and without diabetes. In those without diabetes, per 100 person-examinations, the age- and sex-adjusted incidence rate of cardiovascular disease was 5.9 for smokers, 3.2 for recent quitters, 3.1 for long-term quitters, and 2.4 for nonsmokers. Compared with smokers, and after adjustment for cardiovascular disease risk factors, the hazard ratio for cardiovascular disease was 0.47 for recent quitters and 0.46 for long-term quitters. Further adjustment for weight gain had little effect on these associations. In those with diabetes, the trends were similar but did not reach statistical significance.

“In this community-based cohort, smoking cessation was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease events among participants without diabetes, and weight gain that occurred following smoking cessation did not modify this association,” Clair and colleagues conclude. “This supports a net cardiovascular benefit of smoking cessation, despite subsequent weight gain.”

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry, and received royalties from UpToDate for chapters related to smoking cessation. Another author disclosed ties to Thoracos.

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