Hospital-based smoking cessation programs, along with referrals to cardiac rehabilitation, appear to be associated with increased rates of quitting smoking following heart attack, according to a report in the Oct. 13, 2008, issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Emory University researchers studied 639 patients who smoked at the time of their hospitalization for heart attack. Six months later, 297 of the patients - approximately 47 percent of them - had quit smoking.
The odds of quitting were greater among patients who received discharge recommendations for cardiac rehabilitation and those who were treated at a facility offering an inpatient smoking cessation program. However, individual counseling was not associated with quit rates.
"The findings are important because cardiac rehabilitation and hospital-based smoking cessation programs appear to be under-utilized in current clinical practice and should be potentially considered as a structural measure of health care quality for patients with heart attack," says Susmita Parashar, MD, MPH, division of cardiology, Emory University School of Medicine.
Parashar, one of the study authors, says the study shows that patients recovering from a heart attack are more likely to quit smoking if they are referred to a cardiac rehabilitation program or if a hospital-based smoking cessation program is available to them.
On the contrary, individual counseling to quit smoking by health care professionals during a heart attack hospitalization does not predict successful quitting.
Predictors of Smoking Cessation After a Myocardial Infarction, The Role of Institutional Smoking Cessation Programs in Improving Success. Arch. Intern Med. Vol. 168, p. 1961-1967 Oct. 13, 2008.