Background: Cigarette smoking is known to be deleterious to patients with coronary artery disease, but the effect of smoking on the clinical outcome of percutaneous coronary revascularization is unknown.
Methods: Patients who had undergone successful percutaneous coronary revascularization at the Mayo Clinic between 1979 and 1995 were divided into nonsmokers (n=2009), former smokers (those who had stopped smoking before the procedure, n=2259), quitters (those who stopped smoking after the procedure, n=435), and persistent smokers (those who smoked before and after the procedure, n=734).
Results: The maximal follow-up was 16 years (mean [+/-SD], 4.5+/-3.4). The nonsmokers and former smokers had similar base-line characteristics and outcomes. The quitters and persistent smokers were younger than the nonsmokers and former smokers and had more favorable clinical and angiographic characteristics. In analyses adjusted for confounding base-line characteristics, the persistent smokers had a greater relative risk of death (1.76 [95 percent confidence interval, 1.37 to 2.26]) and of Q-wave infarction (2.08 [95 percent confidence interval, 1.16 to 3.72]) than the nonsmokers. The quitters and persistent smokers were less likely than the nonsmokers to undergo additional percutaneous coronary procedures (relative risk, 0.80 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.64 to 0.98] and 0.67 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.56 to 0.81], respectively) or coronary bypass surgery (relative risk, 0.72 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.54 to 0.95] and 0.68 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.54 to 0.86], respectively). The persistent smokers were also at greater risk for death than the quitters (relative risk, 1.44 [95 percent confidence interval, 1.02 to 2.11]).
Conclusions: Patients who continued to smoke after successful percutaneous coronary revascularization were at greater risk for Q-wave infarction and death than nonsmokers. The cessation of smoking either before or after percutaneous revascularization was beneficial. Patients undergoing percutaneous revascularization should be encouraged to stop smoking.