WEDNESDAY, Aug. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Quitting smoking is associated with reduced rates of incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) within five years compared with current smoking, although the risks remain elevated after five years compared with never smoking, according to a study published in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Meredith S. Duncan, from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, and colleagues conducted a retrospective analysis to examine the correlation between years since quitting smoking and incident CVD. A total of 8,770 individuals were included in the study population. There were 5,308 ever smokers, including 2,371 heavy ever smokers.

The researchers found that 2,435 first CVD events occurred during 26.4 median years of follow-up. In the pooled cohort, quitting within five years correlated with significantly lower rates of incident CVD compared with current smoking (incidence rates per 1,000 person-years: 6.94 [95 percent confidence interval (CI), 5.61 to 8.59] versus 11.56 [95 percent CI, 10.30 to 12.98]) and with a lower risk for incident CVD (hazard ratio, 0.61; 95 percent CI, 0.49 to 0.76). In the pooled cohort, quitting smoking ceased to be significantly associated with greater CVD risk between 10 and 15 years after cessation compared with never smoking (hazard ratio, 1.25; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.98 to 1.60).

“To counter these trends, all countries, particularly those most vulnerable to tobacco marketing, should implement tobacco control strategies to prevent smoking initiation and motivate current smokers to quit,” write the authors of an accompanying editorial.

One author disclosed being principal investigator of studies for smoking cessation that included medications donated by the manufacturers.

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