Smoking Cessation Medication Use Low Following MI

HealthDay News — Among older patients in community practice, the use of smoking cessation medications (SCMs) is low after myocardial infarction (MI), according to a study published online in JAMA Cardiology.

Neha J. Pagidipati, MD, MPH, from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and colleagues examined factors associated with early SCM use among MI patients from the Acute Coronary Treatment and Intervention Outcomes Network Registry. Bupropion and varenicline were SCMs included in the study.

The researchers found that 97% of the 9193 smoking patients with MI received smoking cessation counseling during their hospitalization, and 7.0% had early-prescription SCM use. From 2007 to 2013 there was a decrease in varenicline use (12.6% to 2.2%), while bupropion use remained low (2.5% in 2007 and 3.2% in 2013). The median durations of use were 6.2 and 4.3 weeks for bupropion and varenicline use, respectively, with only 36.7% and 19.7%, respectively, filling prescriptions for the recommended course of 12 weeks. 

SCM use increased to 9.4% within one year after discharge. Before the index MI, 3.0% of patients were taking a prescription for SCMs; these patients more often used SCMs within one year after MI (64.1% vs 7.7%).

“The results of our study suggest the need for words (smoking cessation counseling rates are high) to be followed by action (SCM use rates can be higher),” the authors wrote.

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Pagidipati NJ, Hellkamp A, Thomas L, et al. Use of prescription smoking cessation medications after myocardial infarction among older patients in community practice [published online July 19, 2017]. JAMA Cardiol. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2017.2369