Drop the Cigarette after Angioplasty

Angioplasty patients who quit smoking had reduced chest pain and higher quality of life

(RxWiki News) Looking to boost the benefits of your angioplasty? Quitting smoking might help.

A new study found that patients who quit smoking after an angioplasty may have better quality of life and less chest pain than those who continue to smoke after the procedure.

John A. Spertus, MD, senior study author and clinical director of outcomes research at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, MO, advised doctors to help patients break their smoking habits.

“It’s a no-brainer," Dr. Spertus said in a press release. "Stopping smoking seems like a relatively easy way to increase your chances of getting the best outcomes from angioplasty.”

An angioplasty is a nonsurgical procedure that opens up blood vessels that have become narrowed or blocked. This procedure is usually necessary for patients with chest pain, heart attack or high risk of heart attack. A catheter (flexible tube with a balloon attached to it) is inserted into an artery, opening up the artery and restoring blood flow.

Dr. Spertus and team looked at quality of life and chest pain measurements for 2,765 adults who had had an angioplasty. These measurements were taken from various health surveys, such as the Seattle Angina Questionnaire.

Patients who quit smoking after their angioplasties reported better quality of life than patients who kept smoking after the procedure.

After angioplasty, 21 percent of those who quit smoking reported chest pain — compared to 31 percent of those who didn’t quit.

However, Dr. Spertus and team found that 19 percent of patients who had either never smoked or quit smoking before their angioplasty still reported chest pain after the procedure.

“It’s not just important that we do a good job treating the blockage," Dr. Spertus said. "Cardiologists have to work with patients to help them stop smoking, whether it means nicotine replacement, a smoking cessation program or some other intervention.”

This study was published May 12 in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Interventions.

The American Heart Association Outcomes Research Center and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute funded this research.

Dr. Spertus said he owned the copyright to the Seattle Angina Questionnaire.

Review Date: 
May 11, 2015