Alcohol and tobacco use commonly co-occur, with at least 90% of those with an alcohol problem also using tobacco.
Dr Andrea DiMartini and colleagues discovered a higher rate of late deaths due to lung and oropharyngeal cancer in patients who had received a transplant for alcoholic liver disease.
The investigators hypothesized that patients continuing to expose themselves to tobacco after liver transplantation were increasing their risk for cancer.
| More than 40% were smoking across all time periods |
The investigative team subsequently began a prospective investigation.
The team analyzed post-liver transplantation tobacco use in patients with liver transplantation for alcoholic liver disease.
The team had data from 33 out of 172 patients from the first assessment at 3 months post-liver transplantation.
The investigators reported on the details of the timing of tobacco use resumption and the redevelopment of nicotine addiction for this subgroup.
The team found that on average more than 40% were smoking across all time periods.
Recipients with alcoholic liver disease who resume smoking early post-liver transplantation, increase consumption over time, and become tobacco dependent.
Dr DiMaritini's team concludes, “These data highlight an underrecognized serious health risk for these patients.”
“The results demonstrate our need for more stringent clinical monitoring and intervention for tobacco use in the pre- and post-liver transplantation periods.”