Cardiovascular Disease Patients Keep On Smoking Despite Of Knowing The Risks

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : June 11, 2021

According to new research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, an open-access journal of the American Heart Association, many adults with a history of cardiovascular disease (CVD) keep on smoking cigarettes or use other tobacco products, despite knowing it increases their risk of having another cardiovascular event.

Cardiovascular Disease Patients Keep On Smoking Despite Of Knowing The Risks

To determine how many persons with CVD continue to use tobacco products, researchers compared tobacco use rates across time using survey responses from the large, nationwide Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study (PATH). The present study included 2,615 persons (aged 18 and above) with a self-reported history of heart attack, heart failure, stroke, or other cardiac illness who completed four questionnaires during a four to five-year period.

Cardiovascular Disease Patients Keep On Smoking Despite Of Knowing The Risks

When five-year research began in 2013, over 30% of individuals with a history of serious cardiac issues smoked. Four years later, fewer people were smoking, but 20% were still using tobacco products at the end of the study.

According to research published June 9 in the Journal of the American Heart Association, this was true even though 96 percent of participants stated they were aware that smoking may cause heart disease.

According to Dr. Rose Marie Robertson, co-director of the American Heart Association’s Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science, which provided funding for the study, heart disease is the top cause of mortality in the United States, accounting for more than 365,000 deaths in 2018.

She emphasized that evidence demonstrates that stopping smoking can help avoid heart disease, especially in persons who have already experienced it.

The findings of this new study are worrisome but may be unsurprising, according to Robertson, who stated in a journal press release. These findings suggest that crucial public policies and interventions are required to address this avoidable, leading cause of mortality and disability not only in the United States but globally.

The researchers compared rates of tobacco use over time by reviewing survey results from a major countrywide health study.

More than 2,600 persons in the United States with a self-reported history of heart attack, heart failure, stroke, or other cardiac illness took part in the study. In the years 2013 to 2014, 29% of people reported using cigarettes. According to the researchers, this amount equates to around 6 million Americans.

Cigarettes were the most commonly used tobacco product, accounting for 83%, followed by cigars (24%) and e-cigarettes (23%). Many survey participants admitted to using more than one sort of tobacco product. It was unusual to use electronic cigarettes without also smoking cigarettes.

8% of those polled stated they used smokeless tobacco products. Other less frequent items, such as pipes, hookahs, or dissolvable tobacco, were used by a smaller fraction of the population.

Around 40% said vaping was safer than smoking regular combustible cigarettes. Those who felt this way were more likely to use e-cigarettes alone or in conjunction with regular cigarettes.

Fewer than a quarter of smokers with CVD had quit smoking four to five years later, according to the final survey. Participation in a formal smoking cessation program fell from 10% of respondents in the second wave of the survey to around 2% at the end of the research.

According to study author Dr. Cristian Zamora, an internal medicine resident at Jacobi Medical Center at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the findings support the need for a stronger commitment from a multidisciplinary team, including the main care professional, social worker, psychologist, and cardiologist, to provide smoking-cessation therapies and counseling to people with cardiovascular disease.

According to Zamora, healthcare reforms and public health policies should increase the availability of tobacco cessation programs and instruments for high-risk groups.

There are various limitations to the study. The subjects’ self-reported history of heart disease and cigarette use might be erroneous. Another drawback is that only a small number of persons reported using e-cigarettes, thus the link between previous heart disease and e-cigarette usage is unknown.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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