Disclosures: Khan reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.
November 22, 2021
1 min read

In current smokers, first CV event could be fatal

Disclosures: Khan reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.
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New data published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that current smoking was associated with fatal events caused by MI and stroke as first clinical CVD manifestations.

Sadiya S. Khan

“There is often more awareness and concern about cancer as a result of smoking than heart disease, so we wanted to better define the risks of smoking related to different types of cardiovascular disease and, most importantly, to cardiovascular death,” Sadiya S. Khan, MD, MSc, assistant professor in the division of cardiology in the department of medicine and the department of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said in a press release. “In our analysis, even after adjusting for deaths not related to the heart, such as those due to lung cancer, we found that fatal or nonfatal events related to cardiovascular disease are more likely to occur among people who smoke.”

Graphical depiction of data presented in article
Data were derived from Khan SS, et al. J Am Heart Assoc. 2021;doi:10.1161/JAHA.121.021751.

The study pooled individual-level data from nine population-based U.S. cohorts of 106,165 adults (50% women) free of clinical CVD at baseline with available current smoking status, covariates and CVD outcome data. Researchers assessed associations between smoking status, total CVD and subtypes, including fatal or nonfatal CHD, stroke, congestive HF and other CVD deaths.

Using this information, researchers estimated long-term risks, joint cumulative CVD or non-CV death risks and years lived free from and with CVD.

Long-term CVD event risk was 46% among middle-aged men and 34.7% among middle-aged women. However, compared with middle-aged men who did not smoke, those who did demonstrated higher HRs for first manifestation of CVD being fatal (HR = 1.79; 95% CI, 1.68-1.92). Similar patterns were observed among middle-aged women (HR = 1.82; 95% CI, 1.68-1.98).

In addition, current smoking was also associated with earlier CVD onset, with 5.1 years among men and 3.8 years among women. These results were similar among younger and older adults.

Smoking cessation is very challenging and reaching out to your doctor or other health care professionals for support and resources is important — the sooner the better,” Khan said in the release. “This earlier onset of heart disease and stroke is very crucial to think about with aging and the already known complications of aging.”