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FRIDAY, Feb. 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Many people who quit smoking before having weight-loss surgery go back to cigarettes after the procedure, a new study finds.
Researchers followed 1,770 adults for seven years after they had weight-loss surgery at 10 U.S. hospitals. While about 14% smoked in the year before surgery, that fell to 2% in the month before their operation.
But the smoking rate rose to nearly 10% in the year after surgery and stood at 14% seven years later, according to the study.
"Interestingly, the people who picked up smoking post-surgery weren't just the people who quit smoking in the year prior to surgery, presumably to prepare for the operation. Many had never smoked to begin with," said study co-author Gretchen White, an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Medicine.
Forty percent of patients who smoked after surgery had quit more than a year before their weight-loss operation or had never smoked.
The study also found that post-surgery tobacco users smoked more, increasing from an average dozen cigarettes a day in the year before surgery to more than 15 a day seven years later.
The findings suggest that more needs to be done to help weight-loss surgery patients quit smoking, according to the researchers.
"Smoking cessation prior to surgery is strongly recommended to reduce surgical complications," said study lead author Wendy King, a research associate professor of epidemiology at the university's Graduate School of Public Health.
"But there isn't the same emphasis on maintaining cessation after surgery," she said in a university news release. "Our findings show that there is a need for ongoing support in order to reduce and quickly respond to relapses."
The findings were published Feb. 21 in the journal Annals of Surgery.
-- Robert Preidt
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