Smoke-free policies linked to lower heart disease risk

Northwestern Now: Summaries

Stephanie Mayne, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Preventive Medicine, was the first author of the study published in Circulation.
Laws that ban smoking at workplaces and other public places are associated with a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease, even after controlling for a variety of factors, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study.
The study, published in Circulation, found that smoke-free policies in workplaces were associated with a nearly 50 percent reduction in risk among middle-aged adults, while policies for bars and restaurants were linked to a reduction of around 25 percent.
Kiarri Kershaw, PhD, MPH, assistant professor of Preventive Medicine in the Division of Epidemiology, was the senior author of the study. Stephanie Mayne, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Preventive Medicine, was the first author.
The findings are consistent with previous studies that have demonstrated a link between smoke-free policies — which aim to decrease exposure to secondhand smoke — and a reduced risk of heart disease among the population. But the current study is the first to account for various characteristics of the study population, including participants’ health behaviors and cardiovascular risk factors, as well as geographic factors like state cigarette taxes, that could confound results.
According to the authors, the study’s findings add to the existing evidence and support the continued expansion of smoke-free policies in indoor public places.
“Our results suggest smoke-free policies may prevent cardiovascular disease among young to middle-aged adults, but much of the U.S. population is not currently covered by smoke-free policies. Only 25 states have laws banning smoking in all workplaces, bars and restaurants,” Mayne said.
Kiarri Kershaw, PhD, MPH, assistant professor of Preventive Medicine in the Division of Epidemiology, was the senior author.
In the study, the investigators linked data from participants in the CARDIA study (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults) to state, county and …

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