• cardiovascular disease;
  • smoking cessation;
  • socioeconomic factors;
  • utilization review


Objective:  To determine whether any demographic or socioeconomic factors affect the use of smoking cessation medications in patients hospitalized with heart disease.

Method:  Data were obtained from the Improving Cardiovascular Outcomes in Nova Scotia (ICONS) Canada database, which includes a registry of all hospitalized patients with a diagnosis of ischaemic heart disease, congestive heart failure, or atrial fibrillation since October 1997. Patients agreeing to provide follow-up were sent an enrolment survey to determine demographic and socioeconomic factors including household income, educational background and private drug insurance plans.

Results:  Between 15 October 1997 and 31 December 2000, 5442 patients who were current smokers and 270 patients using a smoking cessation medication were admitted to hospital registered in the ICONS database. An enrolment survey was completed by 1071 current smokers and 77 patients using a smoking cessation agent.

Conclusion:  Higher education level, presence of private drug insurance plans, and less difficulty paying for basic needs were associated with higher use of smoking cessation medications.