Is Weight Gain Inevitable for Patients Trying to Quit Smoking as Part of Cardiac Rehabilitation?

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The literature is uncertain about the extent to which those who attend cardiac rehabilitation (CR) gain weight while trying to quit smoking. This study aimed to determine the extent of CR-based smoking cessation provision and whether CR, as delivered in routine practice, is associated with helping patients quit smoking and avoid weight gain. Data from the UK National Audit of Cardiac Rehabilitation database, between April 2013 and March 2016, were used. Smoking status is
categorised as smokers and quitters assessed by patient self-report. Outcomes included body weight, blood pressure, depression, and physical activity. A multiple linear regression model was constructed to understand the effect of continuing smoking or quitting smoking on CR outcomes. CR outcome
scores were adjusted by the baseline CR score for each characteristic. An e-survey collected information about the smoking cessation support offered to patients attending CR. A total of 2052 smokers (58.59 ± 10.49 years, 73.6% male) and 1238 quitters (57.63 ± 10.36 years, 75.8% male) were analysed. Overall, 92.6% of CR programmes in the United Kingdom (UK) offer smoking
cessation support for CR attenders. Quitting smoking during CR was associated with a mean increase in body weight of 0.4 kg, which is much less than seen in systematic reviews. Quitters who attended CR also had better improvements in physical activity status and psychosocial health measures than smokers. As delivered in routine practice, CR programmes in the UK adhere to the guideline
recommendations for smoking cessation interventions, help patients quit smoking, and avoid weight gain on completion of CR
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2020

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