Nav: Home

Smoking rates falling in adults, but stroke survivors' smoking rates remain steady

February 12, 2020

DALLAS, Feb. 12, 2020 -- While the rate of Americans who smoke tobacco has fallen steadily and significantly over the last two decades, the rate of stroke survivors who smoke has not changed significantly, according to preliminary research to be presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2020 - Feb. 19-21 in Los Angeles, a world premier meeting for researchers and clinicians dedicated to the science of stroke and brain health.

"Smoking cessation should be at the top of the list of preventive measures for people with a prior stroke, because prior research shows that those who continue smoking are more likely to die, or have a heart attack or second stroke," said Neal S. Parikh, M.D., lead author of the study and assistant professor of neurology at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City. "The importance of smoking cessation should be stressed alongside the importance of taking blood-thinning medication (such as aspirin, clopidogrel or an anticoagulant) and cholesterol-lowering medication as prescribed, and ensuring blood pressure is controlled."

The researchers examined data from more than 49,000 adults age 20 or older who participated in the National Health and Nutritional Examination Surveys between 1996 and 2016. Of those, one in 37 people reported a prior stroke (average age 65, 57% women). Comparing active smoking between those with a prior stroke and the overall population, the researchers found:

Over the time period analyzed, 24% of stroke survivors reported active smoking, compared with 22% of all participants;

Between the 1999-2000 survey and the 2015-16 survey, the overall percentage of active smokers in the overall population declined steadily and significantly, from roughly 25% to 19%, respectively; and

In contrast, the percentage of stroke survivors who smoked did not change significantly, going from roughly 23% to 26%, respectively, in the two surveys.

"The persistent rate of smoking among stroke survivors, who should be motivated to quit, speaks to the highly addictive nature of nicotine. It's important for stroke survivors to know that several effective, FDA-approved medications to assist patients with smoking cessation are available. Patients should ask their health care providers to help them quit smoking and seek smoking cessation programs and resources through their cities and states where available," Parikh said.

The results are similar to a 2015 analysis on heart attack patients from the same national survey, which found that the proportion of patients with a prior heart attack who smoked did not decrease between 1999 and 2012.

"The lack of progress in smoking cessation among stroke survivors reinforces the need for aggressive cessation interventions," Parikh said.

This study is limited by the small number of patients reporting prior stroke in the survey. In addition, the survey relied on the participants self-reporting of prior strokes, so some people with minor strokes may have been missed.

"This study, while based on self-reported data, raises concerns about an important gap in the completeness of secondary prevention efforts for stroke in the U.S. While data from the American Heart Association's Tobacco Center for Regulatory Science and from others indicates that many of the public are aware that smoking is a risk factor for cardiovascular events including stroke, these disappointing figures make it clear that we have more work to do to increase this knowledge, and perhaps more importantly, to help patients turn that knowledge into effective action for smoking cessation," said Rose Marie Robertson, M.D., co-principal investigator of the Center, who was not involved in this study. "Multi-episode counseling, FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy and medications to address cravings, when indicated, should be offered during rehabilitation to all stroke survivors who smoke or use other tobacco products."
-end-
Co-authors are: Abhinaba Chatterjee, B.S.; Alexander E. Merkler, M.D.; Mackenzie P. Lerario, M.D.; Costantino Iadecola, M.D.; Babak B Navi, M.D., M.S.; and Hooman Kamel, M.D. Author disclosures are available in the abstract.

Additional Resources:



Video interview: AHA Deputy Chief Science and Medical Officer, Rose Marie Robertson, M.D., FAHA, offers perspective (via Zoom), cigarette, smoking and other images may be downloaded from the right column of the release link (click through thumbnails to select). https://newsroom.heart.org/news/smoking-rates-falling-in-adults-but-stroke-survivors-smoking-rates-remain-steady?preview=c6efff85ef523d400d7d88635b348aae

American Heart Association

Related Science Articles:

75 science societies urge the education department to base Title IX sexual harassment regulations on evidence and science
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) today led 75 scientific societies in submitting comments on the US Department of Education's proposed changes to Title IX regulations.
Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, biopharma, and pharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2018 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.
Science in the palm of your hand: How citizen science transforms passive learners
Citizen science projects can engage even children who previously were not interested in science.
Applied science may yield more translational research publications than basic science
While translational research can happen at any stage of the research process, a recent investigation of behavioral and social science research awards granted by the NIH between 2008 and 2014 revealed that applied science yielded a higher volume of translational research publications than basic science, according to a study published May 9, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Xueying Han from the Science and Technology Policy Institute, USA, and colleagues.
Prominent academics, including Salk's Thomas Albright, call for more science in forensic science
Six scientists who recently served on the National Commission on Forensic Science are calling on the scientific community at large to advocate for increased research and financial support of forensic science as well as the introduction of empirical testing requirements to ensure the validity of outcomes.
World Science Forum 2017 Jordan issues Science for Peace Declaration
On behalf of the coordinating organizations responsible for delivering the World Science Forum Jordan, the concluding Science for Peace Declaration issued at the Dead Sea represents a global call for action to science and society to build a future that promises greater equality, security and opportunity for all, and in which science plays an increasingly prominent role as an enabler of fair and sustainable development.
PETA science group promotes animal-free science at society of toxicology conference
The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. is presenting two posters on animal-free methods for testing inhalation toxicity at the 56th annual Society of Toxicology (SOT) meeting March 12 to 16, 2017, in Baltimore, Maryland.
Citizen Science in the Digital Age: Rhetoric, Science and Public Engagement
James Wynn's timely investigation highlights scientific studies grounded in publicly gathered data and probes the rhetoric these studies employ.
Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, pharma, and biopharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2016 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.
Three natural science professors win TJ Park Science Fellowship
Professor Jung-Min Kee (Department of Chemistry, UNIST), Professor Kyudong Choi (Department of Mathematical Sciences, UNIST), and Professor Kwanpyo Kim (Department of Physics, UNIST) are the recipients of the Cheong-Am (TJ Park) Science Fellowship of the year 2016.
More Science News and Science Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Mindset
In the past few months, human beings have come together to fight a global threat. This hour, TED speakers explore how our response can be the catalyst to fight another global crisis: climate change. Guests include political strategist Tom Rivett-Carnac, diplomat Christiana Figueres, climate justice activist Xiye Bastida, and writer, illustrator, and artist Oliver Jeffers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Speedy Beet
There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit. Big thanks to our Brooklyn Philharmonic musicians: Deborah Buck and Suzy Perelman on violin, Arash Amini on cello, and Ah Ling Neu on viola. And check out The First Four Notes, Matthew Guerrieri's book on Beethoven's Fifth. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.