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Background: Known to cause important metabolic disturbances, weight gain becomes a major health problem after smoking cessation. Visceral adiposity index (VAI) is becoming increasingly popular in the detection of cardiometabolic risks in several disorders and general population. Here, we aimed to investigate the effects of quitting smoking on VAI levels.
Materials and Methods: Of 350 participants included into the cigarette cessation program, 70 (20%) completed the study and were enrolled into the analyses. VAI levels were calculated at the baseline and 3rd month after cigarette cessation.
Results: Thirty‑eight (54.3%) out of 70 participants were male. While the mean age was found as 42 ± 1.0 years, mean starting age of smoking was found to be 16.87 ± 0.45 years, and mean smoking time was 23.07 ± 1.18 years. While VAI levels were found higher in men at the baseline, VAI levels were found similar in both genders at the end of the study. Higher VAI levels were found in those smoking >20 cigarettes/day, compared to those smoking ≤20 cigarettes/day. Although weight, waist circumference, body mass index (BMI), and high‑density lipoprotein cholesterol levels increased, VAI levels were found to decrease significantly at the 3rd month. In subgroup analyses, VAI levels were seen to decrease significantly only in men (P = 0.005). Furthermore, VAI levels were found to decrease (P < 0.001) in those with BMI ≥25 kg/m2, whereas no significant change was observed in those with BMI <25 kg/m2.
Conclusions: Although body weight increases significantly after quitting smoking, VAI levels, an indicator of cardiovascular risks, decrease significantly, especially in men or obese patients.
Keywords: Obesity, quitting smoking, smoking cessation, visceral adiposity index, weight gain