Smoke-Free Workplaces Can Decrease the Risk of Hospitalization Due to Heart Attack

A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine on the health benefits of a smoke-free environment yielded dramatic results.  The risk for hospitalization due to myocardial infarction (heart attack) decreased in several locations after the implementation of smoke-free workplace ordinances in Olmsted County, Minnesota.

The results of the study indicate that a wide scale ban is effective in achieving a decrease in the risk of hospitalization due to myocardial infarction (MI).  The study showed that 18 months after an ordinance banned smoking in restaurants there was no significant decrease.  However, 18 months after the restrictions were broadened to include workplaces, bars and other public spaces there was a decrease of 33% (from 152/100,000 people before implementation to 101/100,000 after) in the number of hospitalizations due to MI .  Throughout the period of the study it was noted that prevalence of cardiovascular factors like hypertension and obesity either rose or remained constant.

Source: Arch Intern Med.2012;172(21):1635-1641. doi:10.1001/2013.jamainternmed.46.

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