Question under study: In the first year after implementation of a public smoking ban a significant decrease in the incidence of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) was observed in Graubünden. In the present study we analyzed the incidence of AMI in the second year of the ban. In addition, we investigated the contribution of smoking ban-unrelated factors to the reduced incidence of AMI incidence observed after enactment of the ban.
Methods: Data of all AMI patients who underwent coronary angiography at the Kantonsspital Graubünden, the only tertiary care hospital with a cardiac catheterization laboratory in Graubünden, between March 1st, 2009 and February 28th, 2010 were collected prospectively. Data were compared with those of the three preceding 12-month periods. We also estimated AMI incidence during the corresponding time period in Lucerne, a region with no smoke-free legislation, using data of the AMIS Plus registry. The influence of outdoor air pollution was analyzed with the help of official measurements of PM(10)- and NO(2)-concentrations in Graubünden. The prescription of lipid-lowering drugs was estimated by using sales figures in Graubünden and Lucerne.
Results: In Graubünden, the number of patients with AMI in the second year after adoption of the smoking ban was similar to that in the first year of the ban (188 vs. 183; P = ns) and significantly lower than in each of the two years preceding the ban (229 and 242, respectively; P <0.05 vs. each of the 12-month periods after the ban). Overall, the number of AMI patients in the two post-ban years was 21% lower than in the two pre-ban years. The reduction in the number of patients with AMI was most pronounced in non-smokers and individuals with known coronary artery disease. During the corresponding time period, no similar decrease in the incidence of AMI was observed in Lucerne. No association was found between the magnitude of outdoor air pollution and the incidence of AMI. During the observation period, the use of lipid-lowering drugs increased similarly in Graubünden and Lucerne.
Conclusions: Compared with the two years preceding the implementation of a smoking ban, the incidence of AMI remained significantly reduced in the second year of the ban in Graubünden, whereas no similar reduction was seen in a comparable area without smoke-free legislation. Changes in outdoor air pollution or the use of lipid-lowering drugs did not substantially contribute to the decrease in the incidence of AMI that occurred after adoption of the ban in Graubünden.