Aggressive Antismoking Plan Best After Heart Surgery
An aggressive antismoking strategy is more successful than a conservative strategy in patients who have undergone heart bypass surgery, new research suggests. As the authors explain, as many as 75 percent of patients resume smoking after their surgery.
An aggressive antismoking strategy is more successful than a conservative strategy in patients who have undergone heart bypass surgery, new research suggests. As the authors explain, as many as 75 percent of patients resume smoking after their surgery. Dr. Daniel E. Hilleman and colleagues from Creighton University Cardiac Center in Omaha, Nebraska, compared two antismoking strategies in 37 smokers who underwent heart surgery. The new findings are reported in the medical journal Chest. Both groups–17 in the conservative treatment group, 20 in the aggressive treatment group–were urged to stop smoking while in the hospital after surgery. The aggressive strategy encouraged patients to enroll in an eight-week comprehensive smoking cessation intervention that included weekly small group counseling sessions focused on patient education and behavior modification. Fourteen patients in the conservative treatment group resumed smoking an average of 10.3 weeks after surgery, the authors report, whereas only three patients in the aggressive treatment group started smoking again. Eleven of the patients in the conservative treatment group who resumed smoking then chose to enter the eight-week intensive smoking cessation program, the results indicate. By the one-year follow-up visit, the total number of smokers in the conservative strategy group had fallen from 14 to 7. Nineteen patients in the aggressive strategy group and all of the patients in the conservative strategy group used nicotine patches as an aid to quitting, the researchers note. “A larger study will be needed to confirm that an early aggressive smoking cessation strategy is effective in smokers undergoing” heart bypass surgery, the authors note. (Source: Chest: Reuters Health: Will Boggs, MD: March 2004: Medline Plus)