University of Oulu

Suutari-Jääskö A, Ylitalo A, Ronkaine J, Huikuri H, Kesäniemi YA, Ukkola OH (2022) Smoking cessation and obesity-related morbidities and mortality in a 20-year follow-up study. PLoS ONE 17(12): e0279443.

Smoking cessation and obesity-related morbidities and mortality in a 20-year follow-up study

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Author: Suutari-Jääskö, Asla1; Ylitalo, Antti2; Ronkainen, Justiina3;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Internal Medicine, Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Heart Center, Turku University Hospital and University of Turku, Turku, Finland
3Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Public Library of Science, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-01-10


Background: Smoking is the biggest preventable factor causing mortality and morbidity and the health benefits of smoking cessation are commonly known. Smoking cessation-related weight gain is well documented. We evaluated the association between smoking cessation and the incidence of obesity-related morbidities such as hypertension, diabetes and metabolic syndrome as well as mortality. We also evaluated telomere length related to smoking cessation.

Material and methods: This study was part of the OPERA (Oulu Project Elucidating Risk of Atherosclerosis) study. The mean follow up time among the 600 study subjects was 20 years. We divided the study subjects into four groups by smoking status (“never”, “current”, “ex-smokers” and “quit”) and analyzed their health status. “Ex-smokers” had quit smoking before baseline and “quit” quit during the follow-up time. Information about total mortality between the years 2013–2020 was also utilized.

Results: During the follow-up time systolic blood pressure decreased the most in the “current” and in the “ex-smoker” groups. Office SBP decreased the least in the “quit” group (p = 0.001). BMI increased the most in the “quit” and the least in the “ex-smokers” group (p = 0.001). No significant increases were seen in the incidence of obesity-related-diseases, such as metabolic syndrome, hypertension and diabetes was seen. There was no significant difference in the shortening of telomeres. Odds of short-term mortality was increased in the “current” group (2.43 (CI 95% 1.10; 5.39)), but not in the “quit” (1.43 (CI 95% 0.73–2.80)) or “ex-smoker” (1.02 (CI 95% 0.56–1.86)) groups when compared to “never” group.

Conclusions: Even though, the blood pressure levels were unfavorable in the “quit” group, there was no significant increase in the incidence of obesity-related-diseases, and a noticeable benefit in short-term mortality was seen during the 6-year follow-up. The benefits of smoking cessation outweigh the disadvantages in the long-term.

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Series: PLoS one
ISSN: 1932-6203
ISSN-E: 1932-6203
ISSN-L: 1932-6203
Volume: 17
Issue: 12
Article number: e0279443
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0279443
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Copyright information: © 2022 Suutari-Jääskö et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.