Race and Medicine

Race and Medicine

Disclosures: Oshunbade and Goff report no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.
April 04, 2021
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Smoking increases CHD risk among Black adults

Disclosures: Oshunbade and Goff report no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.
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Among Black adults, smoking was associated with elevated risk for CHD, according to research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Adebamike A. Oshunbade

“While previous studies have shown a significant association between cigarette smoking and CHD, this relationship has been understudied in Black adults. Although the prevalence of cigarette smoking has declined among Black adults in recent years, 14.9% of Black adults are current smokers, and prior reports have shown longer smoking durations among Black adults compared with white adults and lower smoking cessation rates in Black adults,” Adebamike A. Oshunbade, MD, MPH, postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and colleagues wrote. “Combined with higher rates of traditional risk factors for CHD, Black adults who smoke cigarettes may represent a particularly vulnerable population at risk of CHD.”

Smoking cigarette and ashtray
Source: Adobe Stock

To investigate the relationship between cigarette smoking and incident CHD, researchers analyzed 4,432 participants without history of CHD (mean age, 54 years; 64% women) from the Jackson Heart Study. Self-reported baseline measures divided participants by smoking status (12.4% current smokers, 17.6% former smokers and 70% nonsmokers) and smoking intensity.

During a median follow-up period of 13.8 years, 254 participants developed CHD, with risk significantly higher in current smokers compared with those who had never smoked (6.9% vs. 4.8%; HR = 2.11; 95% CI, 1.39-3.18). The researchers also found current smokers had elevated risk for coronary artery calcification score greater than 0 compared with those who never smoked (OR= 2.63; 95% CI, 1.88-3.68).

David Goff

“Smoking is a modifiable risk factor for CVD and 73% of African American adults who smoke want to quit,” David Goff, MD, PhD, director of the NHLBI’s division of cardiovascular sciences, said in a press release. “However, compared to whites, African American patients are less likely to receive information about smoking cessation treatments that we know can make a difference. Fully addressing tobacco-related disparities requires addressing conditions where people live, work and play.”