Smoke-free laws, gender, and reduction in hospitalizations for acute myocardial infarction

Ellen J. Hahn, Cref Refidaff, Patricia V. Burkhart, Debra K. Moser, Mary Kay Rayens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objective. We examined gender differences in the incidence of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) after the passage of a smoke-free law in Lexington, Kentucky. The initial legislation had exemptions not covering manufacturing facilities and government buildings, which may have put men at greater risk for AMI. Methods. We examined the effect of Lexington's smoke-free public places law on hospitalizations for AMI (i.e., heart attack) among men and women 40 months prior to and 32 months after enactment of the law. We used the statewide administrative database (Comp Data) for all hospital billing records for the four health-care systems in Lexington-Fayette County. Cases were included in the analysis if (1) the patient was ≥35 years of age; (2) the patient had a primary discharge diagnosis of AMI, with an International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision code in the range of 410.00 to 410.99; and (3) the date of service was between January 1, 2001, and December 31, 2006. Results. Among women, AMI hospitalizations declined 23% after the law took effect. The rate of AMI events among men did not change significantly. There was an overrepresentation of women in the hospitality industry and a disproportionate number of men working in manufacturing facilities and government worksites not mandated by the law. Conclusions. We found gender differences in the reduction of AMI hospitalizations following implementation of a smoke-free law that covered only some sectors of the workforce. Enacting smoke-free laws that cover all places of employment and strengthening existing partial laws may extend protection against AMIs to female and male workers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)826-833
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Health Reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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