In order to bring you the best possible user experience, this site uses Javascript. If you are seeing this message, it is likely that the Javascript option in your browser is disabled. For optimal viewing of this site, please ensure that Javascript is enabled for your browser.
Did you know that your browser is out of date? To get the best experience using our website we recommend that you upgrade to a newer version. Learn more.

Smoking cessation after a heart attack linked with improved mood

Risk Factors and Prevention
Acute Coronary Syndromes

Sophia Antipolis, France – 28 Aug 2021:  Smokers with depression at the time of a heart attack who quit smoking are more likely to improve their mood than those who continue the habit. That’s the finding of research presented at ESC Congress 2021.1,2

Smoking and depression often go hand-in-hand, and both are considered risk factors for a heart attack.3,4 This study examined whether depressed patients who quit smoking after a heart attack have an improvement in their mental health compared to those who continue smoking.

The study enrolled 1,822 acute coronary syndrome patients from the Swiss SPUM-ACS cohort. Acute coronary syndrome included both heart attacks and unstable angina.

Depression was assessed using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale (CES-D) and antidepressant drug use. Participants were classified as “depressed” or “not depressed” at baseline and one year. At baseline, 411 (22.6%) patients were depressed and 1411 (77.4%) were not depressed. At one year, 461 (25.3%) patients were depressed and 1361 (74.7%) were not depressed.

The researchers analysed the associations between smoking and depression after adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, education, marital status, physical activity, alcohol use, diabetes, history of cardiovascular disease, cardiac rehabilitation attendance, and high-dose statins at discharge.

The analysis was conducted in the 411 smokers who were depressed at the time of hospitalisation. The researchers examined whether those who quit in the following year were more likely to improve their depressive symptoms in comparison to those who continued smoking. Compared to smokers who continued the habit in the year after their heart event, those who quit smoking were more likely to see an improvement in their depressive symptoms and be classified as “not depressed” (adjusted odds ratio 2.10; 95% CI 1.07–4.09).

Study author Ms. Kristina Krasieva, a medical student at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, said: “Previous research has shown that smoking cessation is associated with mental health benefits5 and our study extends this pattern to heart attack survivors. We hope the findings will encourage smokers who have suffered a heart attack to kick the habit.”



Notes to editor

ESC Press Office
Tel: +33 (0) 7 8531 2036

Follow us on Twitter @ESCardioNews 

The hashtag for ESC Congress 2021 is #ESCCongress.

This press release accompanies both an abstract and an ESC press conference at ESC Congress 2021. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Society of Cardiology.

Funding: The SPUM-ACS cohort was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF 33CM30-124112, Inflammation and acute coronary syndromes (ACS) – Novel strategies for prevention and clinical management, and SNSF 32473B_163271, Long-term benefit of the multi-center, multi-dimensional secondary prevention program in patients with acute coronary syndromes).

Disclosures: KK reports no conflicts of interest.

References and notes

1Abstract title: Impact of smoking cessation on depression after acute coronary syndrome.

2Press conference: “Heart health made easy” on Thursday 26 August from 17:00 to 18:00 CEST.

3Luger TM, Suls J, Vander Weg MW. How robust is the association between smoking and depression in adults? A meta-analysis using linear mixed-effects models. Addict Behav. 2014;39:1418–1429.

4Rajan S, McKee M, Rangarajan S, et al. Association of symptoms of depression with cardiovascular disease and mortality in low-, middle-, and high-income countries. JAMA Psychiatry. 2020;77:1052–1063.

5Taylor GMJ, Lindson N, Farley A, et al. Smoking cessation for improving mental health. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2021;3:CD013522.

About the European Society of Cardiology

The ESC brings together health care professionals from more than 150 countries, working to advance cardiovascular medicine and help people to live longer, healthier lives.

About ESC Congress 2021 - The Digital Experience

It is the world’s largest gathering of cardiovascular professionals, disseminating ground-breaking science in a new digital format. Online each day – from 27 to 30 August. Explore the scientific programme. More information is available from the ESC Press Office at