(HealthDay News) – While smoking cessation reduces the risk of coronary heart disease in women with and without diabetes, a weight gain of ≥5kg attenuates the association, according to research letter published in the July 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Juhua Luo, PhD, from the Indiana University School of Public Health in Bloomington, and colleagues analyzed data from 104,391 postmenopausal women (50–79 years old) with and without diabetes to assess the association between smoking cessation, weight gain, and risk of coronary heart disease.

During a mean of 8.8 years, the researchers found that 3,381 women developed coronary heart disease. The incidence rates of coronary heart disease (per 1,000 person-years) were 3.3 for never smokers, 3.7 for former smokers, 7.6 for current smokers, and 5.3 for those who had newly quit. Among 98,053 women without diabetes, the adjusted hazard ratio for coronary heart disease compared with current smokers was 0.74 for those who had newly quit and 0.39 for former smokers. Among 6,338 women with diabetes, the corresponding adjusted hazard ratios were 0.36 and 0.41. In women with and without diabetes, a weight gain of 5 kg or more attenuated the association between smoking and coronary heart disease.

“In this study, smoking cessation was associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease among postmenopausal women with and without diabetes,” Luo and colleagues conclude. “Weight gain following smoking cessation weakened this association, especially for women with diabetes who gained ≥5kg, although power was limited in this subgroup due to the small number of cases.”

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