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Smoke-Free Scotland Has Less Acute Coronary Syndrome

Two-thirds of the decrease in hospital admissions among nonsmokers

WEDNESDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- After legislation banning smoking in public places was introduced in Scotland, there was a decrease in the number of hospital admissions for acute coronary syndrome, of which 67 percent was accounted for by nonsmokers, according to a study in the July 31 New England Journal of Medicine.

Jill P. Pell, M.D., of the University of Glasgow in Scotland and colleagues analyzed data on smoking status and exposure to secondhand smoke for all patients admitted with acute coronary syndrome to nine Scottish hospitals. The data was collected in the 10 months before the legislation was passed and during the same period one year later.

The researchers found a 17 percent reduction in admissions for acute coronary syndrome. There was also a 6 percent reduction in the number of deaths of patients with acute coronary syndrome who weren't hospitalized. Among smokers, former smokers and people who had never smoked, the reduction in admissions was 14 percent, 19 percent and 21 percent, respectively.

"Concerns about displacement of smoking from public places into homes have not been realized," the authors write. "The results of cotinine assays in schoolchildren and adults who are nonsmokers have confirmed a reduced overall exposure to smoke.

Two study authors disclose financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry. The author of a related editorial reports serving as a witness for the U.S. Department of Justice in United States v. Phillip Morris and receiving funding from the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute to research secondhand smoke.

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