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Few Get Rx to Help Quit Smoking After COPD Hospitalization

Treatment not associated with cessation at six to 12 months; differences between medications

TUESDAY, Dec. 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) — A minority of patients discharged with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) receive pharmacologic treatment for tobacco use, and treatment is not associated with smoking cessation, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

Anne C. Melzer, M.D., from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues examined whether pharmacologic treatment of tobacco use following admission for COPD correlated with smoking cessation. Analysis was conducted in a cohort of 1,334 smokers discharged from hospital with a COPD exacerbation between 2005 and 2012.

The researchers found that 33.7 percent of the patients were dispensed a smoking medication, with more than half (53.4 percent) receiving a nicotine patch alone. At six to 12 months, 19.8 percent of patients reported quitting smoking. The odds of quitting were no greater among patients dispensed any single or combination of smoking cessation medications within 90 days of discharge compared to those not receiving medications (odds ratio [OR], 0.88; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.74 to 1.04). Compared to nicotine patch alone, among patients treated with medications, varenicline correlated with increased odds of cessation (OR, 2.44; 95 percent CI, 1.48 to 4.05), while the odds were decreased for short-acting nicotine replacement therapy alone (OR, 0.66; 95 percent CI, 0.51 to 0.85).

“Treatment was provided to a minority of subjects and was not associated with cessation, with potential differences observed in effectiveness between medications,” the authors write.

The study was partially funded by Gilead Sciences.

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