- Smoking-related risk increases in atherosclerotic disease can persist decades after smoking cessation.
- Risk for peripheral artery disease (PAD) is especially long-lasting.
- Declines in risk for PAD, coronary heart disease (CHD), and stroke do begin within 5 years of smoking cessation, overall.
Why this matters
- Editorial: the results serve as a reminder to clinicians that treating tobacco use is crucial.
- Notes American College of Cardiology’s consensus document on actions clinicians can take to promote smoking cessation.
- Pack-years of smoking were tied to all 3 outcomes, for duration and intensity, especially for PAD.
- Vs never-smokers, PAD risk was almost quadrupled for those with ≥40 pack-years.
- CHD risk doubled for that level of smoking, and almost doubled for stroke.
- PAD risk remained elevated up to 30 years; risk for CHD up to 20 years.
- PAD emerged in all analyses as being most strongly associated with smoking, among the 3 outcomes.
- Younger quitters had lower risks for all 3.
- 13,355 participants, ages 45-64 years, in Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study.
- No PAD, CHD, stroke at baseline.
- Associations with pack-years, duration, intensity, cessation assessed.
- Funding: NIH, others.
- Mild PAD cases likely missed because identification was based on PAD-related hospitalization.