Exposure to Second-Hand Smoke Reduced

New Estimate of Annual Clinical Burden and Cost of Coronary Heart Disease Treatment Attributable to Passive Smoking

San Diego, December 2, 2008 – As the connection between second-hand smoke and coronary heart disease (CHD) became clearer and legislation was passed to reduce such passive smoking, exposures have been reduced. In an article published in the January 2009 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, Partners Healthcare, Boston and Columbia University have recalibrated the CHD Policy Model to better predict future trends in CHD.

At 1999–2004 levels, passive smoking caused between 21,800 and 75,100 CHD deaths and between 38,100 and 128,900 myocardial infarctions annually. Treatment costs ranged from $1.8 to $6.0 billion per year. If recent trends in the reduction in the prevalence of passive smoking continue from 2000 to 2008, researchers predict that the burden would be reduced by approximately 25%–30%.

The CHD Policy Model is a computer simulation of CHD incidence, prevalence, mortality and costs in the US population aged >35 years. Using data from a variety of sources, such as the US Census, the Framingham Heart Study (FHS), the Framingham Offspring Study (FOS), the National Health and Nutrition Evaluation Survey (NHANES), the National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS) and the Year 2000 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), the researchers updated the Model to better predict how reduced second-hand smoke may reduce CHD.

Writing in the article, James M. Lightwood, PhD, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, University of California, San Francisco, states, “Exposure to passive smoking has been reduced by 25% to 40%, and its burden has been reduced by between 25% and 30% over the last 8–10 years, but the burden remains substantial…The future burden of passive smoking may be driven mainly by political and legal processes to ban smoking in public areas and the workplace as well as campaigns to encourage smoke-free homes.”

The article is “Coronary Heart Disease Attributable to Passive Smoking: CHD Policy Model” by James M. Lightwood, PhD, Pamela G. Coxson, PhD, Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, MD, Lawrence W. Williams, MS, and Lee Goldman, MD. It appears in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 36, Issue 1 (January 2009) published by Elsevier.


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Full text of the article is available upon request; contact eAJPM@ucsd.edu to obtain copies. To schedule an interview, please contact James M. Lightwood directly at lightwoodj@pharmacy.ucsf.edu or 415 514 0939.

About the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
The American Journal of Preventive Medicine is the official journal of The American College of Preventive Medicine and the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research. It publishes articles in the areas of prevention research, teaching, practice and policy. Original research is published on interventions aimed at the prevention of chronic and acute disease and the promotion of individual and community health. The journal features papers that address the primary and secondary prevention of important clinical, behavioral and public health issues such as injury and violence, infectious disease, women's health, smoking, sedentary behaviors and physical activity, nutrition, diabetes, obesity, and alcohol and drug abuse. Papers also address educational initiatives aimed at improving the ability of health professionals to provide effective clinical prevention and public health services. The journal also publishes official policy statements from the two co-sponsoring organizations, health services research pertinent to prevention and public health, review articles, media reviews, and editorials.

The American Journal of Preventive Medicine is ranked 13th out of 100 Public, Environmental & Occupational Health titles and 17th out of 100 General and Internal Medicine titles according to the 2007 Journal Citation Reports© published by Thomson Reuters.

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