Abstract P142: Smokers Can Lose Weight When They Quit Smoking
Background: Smoking is one of the major risk factors of CVD. It is well-known that smokers increase weight when they quit smoking, and concomitant weight increase after smoking cessation may blunt beneficial effects of smoking cessation on e.g. glucose metabolism. However, not all smokers gain weight. To our knowledge, predictors of weight-loss after smoking cessation have not previously been investigated.
Methods: in a large population-based study, the Inter99 study, 2,408 daily smokers were included at baseline. Out of these, 262 attended the five year follow-up and reported that they had not smoked for at least 12 months. Participants completed self-report questionnaires at baseline and follow-up. In multivariable logistic regression analyses we investigated predictors of weight-loss.
Results: A total of 17.6% of the quitters had lost weight from baseline to 5 years follow-up. Neither sex, age, number of daily meals, energy intake, dietary quality, physical activity, alcohol consumption, nor change in physical activity or alcohol consumption from baseline to five year follow-up was associated with weight-loss at five year follow-up. Quitters with high education had significantly higher probability of weight-loss compared to quitters with low education (OR=3.88(1.04–14.50), p=0.044). Increasing BMI at baseline increased (OR=1.20(1.06–1.36), p=0.004) and increasing tobacco consumption decreased (OR=0.93(0.87–0.99), p=0.038) the probability of weight-loss. Furthermore, quitters who reported a healthier diet at five-year follow-up than at baseline had increased probability of weight-loss (OR=3.23(1.07–9.82), p=0.038). The mean weight-gain in quitters with normal baseline BMI was 5.66kg (±4.8), quitters who were overweight at baseline gained 5.32kg (±7.0) and quitters who were obese gained 1.98kg (±8.3), p=0.038.
Conclusion: Weight-loss after quitting smoking is feasible and was achieved by about two out of ten quitters. High BMI, high education and low tobacco consumption at baseline and change to a healthier diet predicted weight loss in daily smokers who had quit for at least 12 months.
Discussion: Obese smokers who had quit had the lowest weight-gain. A reason could be that normal-weight smokers are used to eat whatever they want, whereas obese smokers are used to focus on what and how much they eat. Obese smokers should definitely not be advised against quitting smoking in fear of further weight-gain. The large positive cardiovascular health effects of quitting overshadow the negative health effects of a small weight gain, and this study shows that weight-loss after smoking cessation is feasible, especially in obese smokers.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.