Mediation of smoking-associated postoperative mortality by perioperative complications in veterans undergoing elective surgery: data from Veterans Affairs Surgical Quality Improvement Program (VASQIP)--a cohort study
Department of Quantitative Health Sciences
Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Epidemiology | Health Services Research | Surgery
OBJECTIVE: To assess the mediation of smoking-associated postoperative mortality by postoperative complications.
DESIGN: Observational cohort study.
SETTING: Using data from the Veterans Affairs (VA) Surgical Quality Improvement Programme, a quality assurance programme for major surgical procedures in the VA healthcare system, we assessed the association of current smoking at the time of the surgery with 6-month and 1-year mortality.
PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Using mediation analyses, we calculated the relative contribution of each smoking-associated complication to smoking-associated postoperative mortality, both unadjusted and adjusted for age, race/ethnicity, work relative value unit of the operation, surgeon specialty, American Society of Anesthesiologists class and year of surgery. Smoking-associated complications included surgical site infection (SSI), cardiovascular complications (myocardial infarction, cardiac arrest and/or stroke) and pulmonary complications (pneumonia, failure to wean and/or reintubation).
RESULTS: There were 186 632 never smokers and 135 741 current smokers. The association of smoking and mortality was mediated by smoking-related complications with varying effects. In unadjusted analyses, the proportions of mediation of smoking to 6-month mortality explained by the complications were as follows: SSIs 22%, cardiovascular complications 12% and pulmonary complications 89%. In adjusted analyses, the per cents mediated by each complication were as follows: SSIs 2%, cardiovascular complications 4% and pulmonary complications 22%. In adjusted analyses for 1-year mortality, respective per cents mediated were 2%, 3% and 16%.
CONCLUSIONS: Pulmonary complications, followed by cardiovascular complications and SSIs were mediators of smoking-associated 6-month and 1-year mortality. Interventions targeting smoking cessation and prevention and early treatment of pulmonary complications has the likelihood of reducing postoperative mortality after elective surgery.
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Citation: Singh JA, Hawn M, Campagna EJ, et al. Mediation of smoking associated postoperative mortality by perioperative complications in veterans undergoing elective surgery: data from Veterans Affairs Surgical Quality Improvement Program (VASQIP)—a cohort study. BMJ Open 2013;3:e002157. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-002157 Link to article on publisher's site
Singh, Jasvinder A.; Hawn, Mary T.; Campagna, Elizabeth J.; Henderson, William G.; Richman, Joshua S.; and Houston, Thomas K., "Mediation of smoking-associated postoperative mortality by perioperative complications in veterans undergoing elective surgery: data from Veterans Affairs Surgical Quality Improvement Program (VASQIP)--a cohort study" (2013). University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications. 367.