Purpose: Smoking cessation after myocardial infarction reduces cardiovascular mortality, but many smokers cannot quit despite state-of-the-art counseling intervention. Bupropion is effective for smoking cessation, but its safety and efficacy in hospitalized smokers with acute cardiovascular disease is unknown.
Methods: A five-hospital randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial assessed the safety and efficacy of 12 weeks of sustained-release bupropion (300 mg) or placebo in 248 smokers admitted for acute cardiovascular disease, primarily myocardial infarction and unstable angina. All subjects had smoking counseling in the hospital and for 12 weeks after discharge. Cotinine-validated 7-day tobacco abstinence, cardiovascular mortality, and new cardiovascular events were assessed at 3 months (end-of-treatment) and 1 year.
Results: Validated tobacco abstinence rates in bupropion and placebo groups were 37.1% vs 26.8% (OR 1.61, 95% CI, 0.94-2.76; P=.08) at 3 months and 25.0% vs 21.3% (OR, 1.23, 95% CI, 0.68-2.23, P=.49) at 1 year. The adjusted odds ratio, after controlling for cigarettes per day, depression symptoms, prior bupropion use, hypertension, and length of stay, was 1.91 (95% CI, 1.06-3.40, P=.03) at 3 months and 1.51 (95% CI, 0.81-2.83) at 1 year. Bupropion and placebo groups did not differ in cardiovascular mortality at 1 year (0% vs 2%), in blood pressure at follow-up, or in cardiovascular events at end-of-treatment (16% vs 14%, incidence rate ratio [IRR]1.22 (95% CI: 0.64-2.33) or 1 year (26% vs 18%, IRR 1.56, 95% CI 0.91-2.69).
Conclusions: Bupropion improved short-term but not long-term smoking cessation rates over intensive counseling and appeared to be safe in hospitalized smokers with acute cardiovascular disease.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00181818.