26 June 2013

Quitting smoking reduces surgery risks

Former smokers who stop at least a year before going under the knife have risks close to those of never-smokers.

Smoking increases the risk for serious complications after major surgery, but former smokers who stopped at least a year before going under the knife had risks close to those of never-smokers, according to a new study.

Although current smokers were more likely than non-smokers to die post-surgery, the former smokers who had quit at least a year before had no increased risk of death compared to the never-smokers. Current smokers were 17% more likely to die and 53% more likely to have serious heart and lung problems than former smokers who had quit, according to the results published in JAMA Surgery.

Awareness of short-term negative consequences of smoking, like major surgical complications, might be a better motive to quit than the well known long term risks, he said.


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