The study was published Aug. 25 in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.
“Health care providers should counsel patients about how smoking cessation not only reduces the risk of death and having another heart attack, but also reduces the risk of having chest pain and may likely improve general mental health,” study author and psychologist Donna Buchanan said in a journal news release.
The findings offer more evidence about the harmful effects of smoking and the need for more education for heart attack patients, added Buchanan, a researcher and manager with Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute’s cardiovascular outcomes research group.
Buchanan suggested that the results might give current smokers more motivation to quit.
“Current educational efforts tend to focus on how continued smoking increases the risk of recurrent heart attack and death, but health-related quality of life is often equally or more important to patients than longevity,” she concluded.