Smoking increases the risk of postoperative wound complications: A propensity score-matched cohort study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Cigarette smoking is associated with surgical complications, including wound healing and surgical site infection. However, the association between smoking status and postoperative wound complications is not completely understood. Our objective was to investigate the effect of smoking on postoperative wound complications for major surgeries. Data were collected from the 2013 to 2018 participant use files of the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database. A propensity score matching procedure was used to create the balanced smoker and nonsmoker groups. Multivariable logistic regression was used to calculate the odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for postoperative wound complications, pulmonary complications, and in-hospital mortality associated with smokers. A total of 1 156 002 patients (578 001 smokers and 578 001 nonsmokers) were included in the propensity score matching analysis. Smoking was associated with a significantly increased risk of postoperative wound disruption (OR 1.65, 95% CI 1.56-1.75), surgical site infection (OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.28-1.34), reintubation (OR 1.47, 95% CI 1.40-1.54), and in-hospital mortality (OR 1.13, 95% CI 1.07-1.19) compared with nonsmoking. The length of hospital stay was significantly increased in smokers compared with nonsmokers. Our analysis indicates that smoking is associated with an increased risk of surgical site infection, wound disruption, and postoperative pulmonary complications. The results may drive the clinicians to encourage patients to quit smoking before surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-402
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Wound Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • postoperative complications
  • propensity score
  • smoking
  • surgical site infection
  • wound dehiscence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology


Dive into the research topics of 'Smoking increases the risk of postoperative wound complications: A propensity score-matched cohort study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this