Smoking Cessation Can Boost Mental Health, QOL After Heart Attack

(HealthDay News) — Smoking cessation after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) reduces angina and boosts mental health and quality of life, according to research published online August 25 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Donna M. Buchanan, PhD, of Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, MO, and colleagues looked at 4,003 American adults who were assessed one, six, and 12 months after AMI. The data included patients who were smokers at the time of their AMI (37%), smokers who quit before their AMI (34%), and patients who never smoked (29%). Forty-six percent of current smokers quit smoking within a year after their AMIs.

The researchers found that patients who had never smoked had the best health by the end of the follow-up period. The health of smokers who didn’t quit after their AMI continued to decline. They were more likely to have angina, poorer physical functioning and health-related quality of life, and worse mental health. Levels of angina and mental health among smokers who quit before their AMI and of smokers who quit within a year after their AMI were similar to that of patients who never smoked.

“Health care providers should counsel patients about how smoking cessation not only reduces the risk of death and having another heart attack, but also reduces the risk of having chest pain and may likely improve general mental health,” Buchanan said in a journal news release.

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