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Smokers with PE have higher rate of hospital readmission



Smokers with pulmonary embolism (PE) are more likely to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of their index admission, according to a retrospective study.

Dr. Kam Sing Ho, Mount Sinai St. Luke's and Mount Sinai West, New York

Dr. Kam Sing Ho

The rate of readmission was significantly higher among patients with tobacco dependence, and tobacco dependence was independently associated with an increased risk of readmission.

“This is the first study to quantify the increased rate of hospital readmission due to smoking,” said study investigator Kam Sing Ho, MD, of Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Mount Sinai West, New York.

Dr. Ho and colleagues described this study and its results in a poster presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians.

The researchers analyzed data on 168,891 hospital admissions of adults with PE, 34.2% of whom had tobacco dependence. Patients with and without tobacco dependence were propensity matched for baseline characteristics (n = 24,262 in each group).

The 30-day readmission rate was significantly higher in patients with tobacco dependence than in those without it – 11.0% and 8.9%, respectively (P less than .001). The most common reason for readmission in both groups was PE.

Dr. Ho said the higher readmission rate among patients with tobacco dependence might be explained by the fact that smokers have a higher level of fibrinogen, which may affect blood viscosity and contribute to thrombus formation (Proc Am Thorac Soc. 2005;2[1]:71-7).

The investigators also found that tobacco dependence was an independent predictor of readmission (hazard ratio, 1.43; P less than .001). And the mortality rate was significantly higher after readmission than after index admission – 6.27% and 3.15%, respectively (P less than .001).

The increased risk of readmission and death among smokers highlights the importance of smoking cessation services. Dr. Ho cited previous research suggesting these services are underused in the hospital setting (BMJ Qual Improv Rep. 2014;3[1]:u204964.w2110).

“Given that smoking is a common phenomenon among patients admitted with pulmonary embolism, we suggest that more rigorous smoking cessation services are implemented prior to discharge for all active smokers,” Dr. Ho said. “[P]atients have the right to be informed on the benefits of smoking cessation and the autonomy to choose. Future research will focus on implementing inpatient smoking cessation at our hospital and its effect on local readmission rate, health resources utilization, and mortality.”

Dr. Ho has no relevant relationships to disclose.

SOURCE: Ho KS et al. CHEST 2019 October. doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2019.08.1551.

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