FRIDAY, April 8, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with established atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, the treatment benefit of smoking cessation is equivalent to the use of targeted pharmaceutical interventions in persistent smokers, according to a study presented at the annual congress of the European Association of Preventive Cardiology, held virtually from April 7 to 9.
Tinka Van Trier, M.D., Ph.D., from the Amsterdam University Medical Center, and colleagues estimated and compared the treatment benefits of smoking cessation versus persistent smoking with targeted pharmaceutical interventions in 989 patients with established atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Patients aged 45 years or older who persisted in smoking at six months or longer after acute coronary syndrome or revascularization were included. The primary outcome was estimated treatment benefit expressed as gain in years without a myocardial infarction or stroke. The cardiovascular treatment benefit of smoking cessation was compared to the use of one or more of the following medications: bempedoic acid, colchicine, and PCSK9 inhibitors.
The mean age of participants was 60 years, and the median time since the index event was 1.2 years. The researchers found that through smoking cessation, a mean of 4.81 event-free years would be gained. A comparable gain of 4.83 event-free years resulted from persistent smoking with maximal pharmaceutical treatment.
"Our study shows that kicking the habit appears to be as effective as taking three medications for preventing heart attacks and strokes in those with a prior heart attack or procedure to open blocked arteries," Van Trier said in a statement. "Patients could gain nearly five years of healthy life."