Smoking and potentially preventable hospitalisation: The benefit of smoking cessation in older ages

Bich Tran*, Michael O. Falster, Kirsty Douglas, Fiona Blyth, Louisa R. Jorm

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    29 Citations (Scopus)


    Aims: Reducing preventable hospitalisation is a priority for health systems worldwide. This study sought to quantify the contribution of smoking to preventable hospitalisation in older adults and the potential benefits of smoking cessation. Methods: Self-reported smoking data for 267,010 Australian men and women aged 45+ years linked with administrative hospital data were analysed using Cox's models to estimate the effects on risk of hospitalisation for congestive heart failure (CHF), diabetes complications, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and angina. The impacts of smoking and quitting smoking were also quantified using risk advancement periods (RAP). Results: The cohort included 7% current smokers, 36% former smokers and 57% never smokers. During an average follow-up of 2.7 years, 4% of participants had at least one hospitalisation for any of the study conditions (0.8% for CHF, 1.7% for diabetes complications, 0.8% for COPD and 1.4% for angina). Compared to never smokers, the adjusted hazard ratio for hospitalisation for any of the conditions for current smokers was 1.89 (95% CI 1.75-2.03), and the RAP was 3.8 years. There were strong dose-response relationships between smoking duration, smoking intensity and cumulative smoking dose on hospitalisation risk. The excess risk of hospitalisation and RAP for COPD was reduced within 5 years of smoking cessation across all age groups, but risk reduction for other conditions was only observed after 15 years. Conclusion: Smoking is associated with increased risk of preventable hospitalisation for chronic conditions in older adults and smoking cessation, even at older ages, reduces this risk.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)85-91
    Number of pages7
    JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015


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