Scientific article
Open access

Tobacco Stained Fingers and Its Association with Death and Hospital Admission: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Published inPLOS ONE, vol. 10, no. 9, e0138211
Publication date2015

BACKGROUND: Among smokers, the presence of tobacco stains on fingers has recently been associated with a high prevalence of tobacco related conditions and alcohol abuse. OBJECTIVE: we aimed to explore tobacco stains as a marker of death and hospital readmission. METHOD: Seventy-three smokers presenting tobacco-tar staining on their fingers and 70 control smokers were followed during a median of 5.5 years in a retrospective cohort study. We used the Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and the log-rank test to compare mortality and hospital readmission rates among smokers with and smokers without tobacco stains. Multivariable Cox models were used to adjust for confounding factors: age, gender, pack-year unit smoked, cancer, harmful alcohol use and diabetes. The number of hospital admissions was compared through a negative binomial regression and adjusted for the follow-up time, diabetes, and alcohol use. RESULTS: Forty-three patients with tobacco-stained fingers died compared to 26 control smokers (HR 1.6; 95%CI: 1.0 to 2.7; p 0.048). The association was not statistically significant after adjustment. Patients with tobacco-stained fingers needed a readmission earlier than smokers without stains (HR 2.1; 95%CI: 1.4 to 3.1; p<0.001), and more often (incidence rate ratio (IRR) 1.6; 95%CI: 1.1 to 2.1). Associations between stains and the first hospital readmission (HR 1.6; 95%CI: 1.0 to 2.5), and number of readmissions (IRR 1.5; 95%CI: 1.1 to 2.1) persisted after adjustment for confounding factors. CONCLUSIONS: Compared to other smokers, those presenting tobacco-stained fingers have a high unadjusted mortality rate and need early and frequent hospital readmission even when controlling for confounders.

  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology
  • Coloring Agents/adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Readmission/statistics & numerical data
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • Switzerland/epidemiology
  • Time Factors
  • Tobacco/adverse effects
  • Tobacco Use Disorder/complications/mortality
Citation (ISO format)
JOHN, Gregor Raphaël et al. Tobacco Stained Fingers and Its Association with Death and Hospital Admission: A Retrospective Cohort Study. In: PLOS ONE, 2015, vol. 10, n° 9, p. e0138211. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0138211
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1932-6203

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