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Head Neck. 2016 May;38(5):700-6. doi: 10.1002/hed.23944. Epub 2015 May 17.

Tobacco use and surgical outcomes in patients with head and neck cancer.

Author information

1
Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
2
Department of Public Health Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina.
3
Department of Biostatistical Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
4
Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina.
5
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina.
6
Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Tobacco use is a risk factor for head and neck cancer, but effects on postoperative outcomes are unclear.

METHODS:

Patients with head and neck cancer (n = 89) were recruited before surgery. We assessed self-reported tobacco use status (never, former, or current) at study entry and recent tobacco exposure via urinary cotinine on surgery day. Outcomes included hospital length of stay (LOS) and complications.

RESULTS:

Most participants reported current (32.6%) or former (52.8%) tobacco use; 43.2% were cotinine-positive on surgery day. Complications occurred in 41.6% and mean LOS was 4.0 and 8.8 days in patients who received low and high acuity procedures, respectively. Current and former smokers were over 6 times more likely to have complications than never smokers (p = .03). For high acuity procedures, LOS was increased in current (by 4.4 days) and former smokers (by 2.3 days; p = .02).

CONCLUSION:

Tobacco use status is associated with postoperative complications and may distinguish at-risk patients.

KEYWORDS:

cotinine; head and neck cancer; length of stay; postoperative complication; tobacco

PMID:
25521527
PMCID:
PMC4472632
DOI:
10.1002/hed.23944
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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