Skooter reporting 09/13/12
Oh yeah, here's some health advice for all the smokers out there: quit, just quit, give up for God sake, especially if you've suffered a heart attack already. Italian researchers have this to say, those who give up the habit of smoking after a heart attack can expect the same (or better) health benefits than they could get from taking common meds. And for those who keep smoking after a heart attack, the warning is ominous: don't quit and you could increase your risk for dying almost five-fold.
The researchers in the study followed 1,294 patients who reported being regular smokers before they were hospitalized with acute coronary syndrome, or ACS.
All the participants had ceased smoking while in the hospital and once they were released they were encouraged to declare to themselves to continue of the non-smoking routine. While in the hospital, patients received a few brief smoking-cessation counseling sessions, and after they left the hospital, there were no further counseling, nicotine replacement or other smoking-cessation help was provided.
The researchers interviewed patients about their smoking conditions at one, six, and 12 months after they were out from the hospital. By the end of the first year, researchers found that a total of 813 or 63% had fallen back. Within 20 days from released about half had begun smoking again.
What occurred within a year, 97 patients gone, finished, bye-bye. 81 of those deaths could be attributed to cardiovascular causes, research team said.
After fiddling with patient ages and other factors, the researchers found that going back to smoking increased a person's risk of death three-fold compared to patients who didn't relapse. Here are more bad news: the earlier a patient fell off the wagon, the more likely he or she was going to be finished within a year and those who resumed smoking within 10 days of leaving the hospital were five times as likely to be finished as those who continued to give up (!).
When there’s bad news, there’s good news: very few patients relapsed after they stopped smoking for six months. The team also found that kicking off the habit has a similar life-saving effect for ACS patients as taking recommended drugs to lower blood pressure or cholesterol. Conclusion: patients who give up smoking for more than six months usually successfully kick off the habit and those who do quit significantly increase their long-term survival.
If you are a smoker and want to quit, don’t hesitate to ask for your doctor's advice about smoking-cessation aids. Giving up the habit, especially after heart troubles, is like taking an alternative remedy that could give you a second chance to live long.