Impact of cigarette smoking on the relationship between body mass index and coronary heart disease: a pooled analysis of 3264 stroke and 2706 CHD events in 378579 individuals in the Asia Pacific region

January 2009
BMC Public Health;2009, Vol. 9 Issue 1, p294
Academic Journal
Background: Elevated levels of body mass index (BMI) and smoking are well established lifestyle risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke. If these two risk factors have a synergistic relationship, rigorous lifestyle modification may contribute to greater reduction in cardiovascular burden than previously expected. Methods: A pooled analysis of individual participant data from 38 cohorts, involving 378,579 participants. Hazards ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for BMI by cigarette smoking status were estimated using Cox proportional hazard models. Results: During a mean follow-up of 3.8 years, 2706 CHD and 3264 strokes were recorded. There was a log-linear, positive relationship of BMI with CHD and stroke in both smokers and nonsmokers with evidence of a synergistic effect of smoking on the association between BMI and CHD only: HRs (95% CIs) associated with a 2 kg/m² higher BMI were 1.13 (1.10 - 1.17) in current smokers and 1.09 (1.06 - 1.11) in non-smokers (p-value for interaction = 0.04). Conclusion: Smoking amplifies the positive association between BMI and CHD but not stroke. If confirmed, these results suggest that effective strategies that target smoking cessation and weight loss are likely to have a greater impact than anticipated on reducing the burden of CHD.


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