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AHA: Smoking Ban Could Reduce Hospitalizations, Costs

Researchers estimate a national ban could markedly reduce AMI hospitalizations

FRIDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- The enactment of nationwide comprehensive smoking ban (CSB) legislation could substantially reduce the yearly number of hospitalizations for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and the associated costs, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke 2010 Scientific Sessions, held May 19-21 in Washington, D.C.

Mouaz H. Al-Mallah, M.D., of Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, and colleagues collected data on the total number of AMI discharges, lengths of stay and costs in 2007 from the departments of health in states with no CSB law. They then calculated the expected decrease in AMI hospitalizations in the year after potential implementation of a nationwide CSB by multiplying the current number of AMI by the pooled relative risk reduction obtained from a recent published meta-analysis.

The researchers found 169,043 AMI hospitalizations in the states without CSB laws, and projected that a nationwide smoking ban would reduce the number of AMI hospitalizations by 18,596 in the year following the enactment of the ban. They estimate this reduction would be associated with a $92 million savings in direct costs.

"A nationwide CSB legislation would result in significant reduction in the number of AMI hospitalizations. This is associated with significant cost saving. Further studies are needed to evaluate the impact of CSB on admission from other disease states," the authors write.

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