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Health Care Financ Rev. 2008 Summer;29(4):57-67.

Cigarette smoking and health-related quality of life in Medicare beneficiaries.

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University of California, Los Angeles, Department of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA 90024-2801, USA.


This study examined associations between cigarette smoking, cancer, and self-reported physical (SF-36 Physical Component Summary Score, [PCS]) and mental health (SF-36 Mental Component Summary Score, [MCS]) among 123,567 Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in managed care plans. As expected for a sample of older individuals, the SF-36 PCS mean (42.6) was lower than the U.S. general population mean of 50. The SF-36 MCS mean (51.7) for the sample was higher than the general population mean. In addition, least squares means revealed significantly poorer health for current smokers and those who recently quit, regardless of their cancer status. Although statistically significant, the differences between current smokers and never smokers were small among those with or without cancer. Encouraging smokers to quit and providing abstinence support to persons who have recently quit may help reduce health-related impacts of cigarette use.

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