Back on track: smoking cessation and weight changes over nine years in a community-based cohort study

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Objective. To examine the impact of smoking cessation on body weight compared with normal long-termweight development.
Methods. Of 1970 adults (20–69 years) in a rural town in Denmark invited to take part in the study in 1998–2000, 1374 (70%) participated. After 9 years, 1121 participated in the follow-up study. Weight changes werecompared using multivariable regression models.
Results. The mean baseline weight of never-smokers was 76.4 kg (SD 16.0). The adjusted weight of smokersand ex-smokers differed by −4.2 kg (95% CI: −5.9, −2.6), and −0.7 kg (95% CI: −2.5, 1.1), respectively. Theadjusted weight gain rate (kg/year) of never-smokers, smokers, and ex-smokers was 0.213, 0.127, and 0.105,respectively. The absolute post cessation weight gain (PCWG) was 5.0 kg (SD 7.0), and the adjusted PCWGwas 2.8 kg (95% CI: 1.7, 3.9) compared with never-smokers, and 3.5 kg (95% CI: 2.3, 4.8) compared with smokers.The follow-up weight did not differ between quitters and never-smokers (0.1 kg; 95% CI: −2.4, 2.6).
Conclusion. Smokers weigh less than never-smokers. By quitting, they gain weight and end up weighing thesame as comparable never-smokers. Weight gain rates differ by smoking status. Consequently, PCWG dependson the length of follow-up. Our graphical model indicates that smoking cessation results in a return to normalweight development.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPreventive Medicine
Pages (from-to)320-325
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015

ID: 157350656