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.”