Washington: A new study has suggested that quitting smoking is not able to reduce the amount of disease smoking causes in the coronary arteries, but does lower the risk of heart attack and death to the levels of non-smokers.
Dr Robert J. Min, who is director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Imaging at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital and the Weill Cornell Medical College, said that smoking is an established risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
He said that their study aimed to find out what impact stopping smoking had on the risk of cardiovascular events, death and the severity of CAD.
The prospective CONFIRM (Coronary CT Evaluation for Clinical Outcomes: An International Multicenter Study) registry of 13,372 patients from 9 countries in Europe, North America and East Asia examined the risk of major adverse cardiac events in 2,853 active smokers, 3,175 past smokers and 7,344 never smokers.
Active and past smokers had a 1.5-fold higher probability of severe stenoses in 1 and 2 major heart arteries, and a 2-fold increased probability of severe stenoses in all 3 major heart arteries.
After 2.0 years of follow-up, 2.1 percent of the study patients experienced heart attacks or death. Rates of heart attack or death were almost 2-fold higher in active smokers compared to never smokers. Past smokers had the same rates or heart attack or death as never smokers, despite having a higher prevalence, extent and severity of CAD.