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Improved smoking cessation in smokers given ultrasound photographs of their own atherosclerotic plaques.
BACKGROUND: We examined whether making smokers aware that they had developed peripheral atherosclerosis would improve smoking cessation. METHODS: Smokers selected from the general population were randomly allocated to undergo high-resolution B-mode ultrasonography of their carotid and femoral arteries. All smokers received quit-smoking counseling. Smokers with > or =1 atherosclerotic plaque were given two photographs of a plaque with a relevant explanation. Quit rates were assessed by telephone 6 months later. RESULTS: Seventy-nine smokers did not undergo ultrasonography (A). Among the 74 smokers submitted to ultrasonography, 20 had no plaque (B) and 54 had > or =1 plaque (C). Quit rates were, respectively, 6.3, 5.0, and 22.2% in groups A, B, and C. Quit rates were higher in smokers submitted to ultrasonography (B + C vs A; P = 0.031) and in those receiving photographs (C vs A + B; P = 0.003). Smoking cessation was independently associated with intervention C (OR = 6.2; 95% CI = 1.8-21) and a white-collar job but not with age or gender. CONCLUSIONS: Providing smokers with photographs demonstrating atherosclerosis on their own person was an effective adjunct to physician's advice to quit smoking. Since ultrasonography is used increasingly often in clinical practice for cardiovascular risk stratification, this can provide an additional opportunity and means to deter smokers from smoking.
Adult, Arteriosclerosis, Audiovisual Aids, Counseling, Female, Health Behavior, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Patient Education as Topic, Seychelles, Smoking Cessation
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