Smokers can take some heart from study

| September 19, 2013

Among patients treated with therapeutic hypothermia after a cardiac arrest, smokers had better outcomes than nonsmokers, according to a story by Todd Neale for MedPage Today, citing a single-center study.

Jeremy Pollock, M.D., of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, USA, and colleagues reported that half of smokers survived to hospital discharge with a good neurological outcome compared with only 28 percent of nonsmokers.

The difference remained significant after adjustment for numerous potential confounders, the team reported online in Resuscitation.

“Despite the findings of our study, we do not want the public to take from this that they should go out and start smoking to protect them from a future cardiac arrest,” Pollock was reported to have said in an email to MedPage Today.

“We hope,” he said, “this will spur on further thought and discussion in regards to the etiology of the smoker’s paradox,” a previously observed phenomenon in which smokers are more likely than are nonsmokers to have an acute coronary syndrome, but are less likely to die from an acute myocardial infarction.

Category: Breaking News

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