The earlier the better: health-related quality of life is inversely related to age of smoking cessation in older former Italian smokers

Beatrice Gasperini, Pamela Barbadoro, Antonio Cherubini, Francesca Pierri, Marcello M. D’Errico, Francesco Di Stanislao, Elisa Ponzio, Emilia Prospero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Quitting smoking has several health benefits, including an improvement in health-related quality of life. It is not well established if there is a relationship between the age when people stop smoking and health-related quality of life in older adults. Aims: The primary aim was to investigate the relationship between health-related quality of life and the age when people quit smoking in a national representative sample of community-dwelling older Italian adults. The secondary aim was to describe the characteristics of older former smokers according to their age when they stopped smoking. Methods: Data were drawn from the “Health and use of health care in Italy”, a national cross-sectional survey (2004–2005). Seven thousand five hundred and sixty-two former smokers, aged 65 years and older, were evaluated by age of smoking cessation. Socio-demographic characteristics, physical activity, the 12-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-12) score and its physical (PCS-12) and mental (MCS-12) component summary scores, disability and comorbidities were analyzed. Results: Educational level, marital status and area of residence were associated with a different age of smoking cessation, as a higher level of disability and comorbidity. PCS-12 (β −0.144; p <0.001) and MCS-12 (β −0.077; p <0.001) component scores were lower in subjects who quit smoking later. The relationship was confirmed for the PCS-12 score even after adjustment for socio-demographic, disability and clinical variables (β −0.031; p <0.001), while it disappeared for the MCS-12 score (β −0.010, p = 0.307), after adjustment for comorbidities. Conclusion: Physical and mental health-related quality of life is influenced by the age of smoking cessation in older individuals, but this relationship is influenced by comorbidities, particularly depression. Some individual characteristics are related to the age of the person when he/she quit smoking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalAging clinical and experimental research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jul 25 2016


  • Elderly
  • Quality of life
  • Quit smoking
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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