Adverse events (AEs) associated with left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) cause significant morbidity and mortality. Little is known about patient-specific factors that contribute to rates of AEs. The purpose of this study was to assess the association of cigarette smoking history and AEs following LVAD implantation.
This study was a single-center, observational examination of 355 consecutive patients who underwent continuous-flow LVAD implantation from May 1, 2008 to July 1, 2018. Based on self-report, 348 patients with available data were categorized as never, former, or current smokers. Pre-LVAD implantation baseline characteristics were obtained, and summary characteristics were calculated. Hospitalizations for gastrointestinal bleeds, driveline infections, strokes, pump thromboses, and acute heart failure were evaluated. The Cox proportional hazard model was used to estimate the association of smoking and AE-related hospital admissions. The cumulative incidence competing risk method was used for survival analysis.
Current (8.22%, p 0.006) and former (4.75%, p 0.026) smokers had a greater proportion of admissions for pump thrombosis compared to never smokers (2.22%). Former smoking was associated with admission for driveline infection (HR 2.43, CI 1.08-5.46, p 0.03) on multivariate analysis. There were no significant associations between smoking and the other AEs of interest. There was no difference in survival among the three groups.
Smokers had a higher proportion of admissions for pump thrombosis compared to never smokers, and former smoking was associated with admission for driveline infections in patients with LVADs.