Why Heart Patients Should Kick Butts. Part 3

He explained that four years after heart surgery, a smoker and a person who quit have an equal chance of dying as a result of smoking and heart disease. After five years, however, a quitter’s chance of staying alive improved by 3 percent. And, after 15 years, that number jumped up to 15 percent. Every year after that, van Domburg explained, a nonsmoker’s chance of staying alive improve by 1 percent.

And for those who do make it out of a smoky haze alive, nonsmokers are less likely to need another heart surgery. “The quitters are also less likely to undergo a second bypass operation or angioplasty procedure,” van Domburg said.

So quitting is your only option. How can you help your heart and kick the habit once and for all?

With a Helping Hand
You’ve had a heart attack, you’ve had heart surgery to repair the damage, and now you know that kicking the habit will help you lead a better, healthier life. What else do you need to get moving in the quitting direction?

“In our study, it was up to physicians and nurses to encourage patients to stop smoking by referring them to programs,” said Sheryl F. Kelsey, Ph.D., an epidemiologist at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health who led a study presented at the American Heart Association?s 71st Annual Scientific Sessions.

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