There are limited data on the association of smoking with the risk of stroke following left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation. We designed this study to analyze the impact of smoking status at the time of LVAD implantation on stroke. We hypothesized that current smokers are at increased risk of stroke when compared with patients who were former or never smokers. The study population comprised of 369 patients in the University of Rochester Medical Center LVAD database, implanted with an LVAD between 2008 and 2018. Patients were stratified as current smoker (smoking within 30 days before LVAD implantation), former smoker, and never smoker. Stroke was defined as a transient ischemic attack or cerebrovascular accident (hemorrhagic or ischemic). There were 45 current smokers, 198 former smokers, and 125 never smokers. Current smokers were younger (mean age 50 ± 11 years), as compared with former (58 ± 12 years) and never smokers (56 ± 13 years) p < 0.001. At 2 years following LVAD implantation, the cumulative incidence of stroke was significantly higher among current smokers (39%) as compared with former and never smokers (16% and 15%, respectively; p = 0.022 for the overall difference during follow-up). In a multivariate model adjusted for significant clinical variables, current smoking was associated with a significant 88% (p = 0.018) higher risk of stroke when compared with all noncurrent smokers. In conclusion, our data suggest that LVAD candidates who are current smokers experience a significantly higher risk of stroke following device implantation.
- left ventricular assist device
- smoking and stroke