An international survey published today (Thursday 6 October) in Europes leading cardiology journal, European Heart Journal, reveals that fewer than half of the heart patients in the study who smoked quit after suffering their first coronary event, with one out of five continuing to smoke despite advice to stop.
Epidemiologist and lead author of the study, Dr Wilma Scholte op Reimer, said it was "unbelievable" that so many carried on smoking after a life-threatening event for which smoking is a major risk factor. "It makes me wonder if they are truly aware of the risk that they are taking," she said.
The survey – EUROASPIRE II – undertaken during 1999 and 2000, involved 5,551 coronary patients aged up to seventy in 47 hospitals in 15 European countries. They were interviewed around 16 months after the event or condition for which they entered hospital – coronary artery bypass, balloon angioplasty, heart attack or unstable angina. The patients were asked if they had ever smoked, whether they had smoked in the month prior to hospital admission and whether they currently smoked, with smokers who denied currently smoking being tested for carbon monoxide in their breath. The survey was a follow-up to EUROASPIRE I five years earlier and found similar results.
Margaret Willson | alfa
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