Continuing to Smoke After Heart Attack? Fatal Idea

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If you are a smoker who has had a heart attack, it might be a good idea to quit smoking. A new study said continuing to smoke will shorten the rest of your life.

HealthDay News reports that the study out of Italy claims heart attack victims who resume smoking are three to five times more likely to die than those who quit for good.

Researchers followed 1,294 smokers for one year who were hospitalized for a heart attack. They all were not allowed to smoke while they were in the hospital, and were counseled about the dangers of resuming smoking.

Over those 12 months, 97 patients died, 81% from heart disease. Of those who died, 62.8% had resumed smoking -- half of them within 19 days of being released from the hospital.

Women and older people were most likely to resume smoking, while diabetics and patients who had participated in cardiac rehabilitation were the most likely to have quit.

The authors wrote:

In conclusion, smoking relapse after acute coronary syndromes is associated with increased mortality, and counseling interventions should be integrated into the post-discharge support to reduce the negative effects of smoking resumption.

The study was published in the American Journal of Cardiology.

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