Prevalence of smoking in adults with spinal cord stimulators: A systematic review and meta-analysis

W. Michael Hooten, Rajat N. Moman, Jodie Dvorkin, E. Morgan Pollard, Robalee Wonderman, M. Hassan Murad

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background Smoking adversely impacts pain-related outcomes of spinal cord stimulation (SCS). However, the proportion of SCS patients at risk of worse outcomes is limited by an incomplete knowledge of smoking prevalence in this population. Thus, the primary aim of this systematic review is to determine the prevalence of smoking in adults with chronic pain treated with SCS. Methods A comprehensive search of databases from 1 January 1980 to 3 January 2019 was conducted. Eligible study designs included (1) randomized trials; (2) prospective and retrospective cohort studies; and (3) cross-sectional studies. The risk of bias was assessed using a tool specifically developed for prevalence studies. A total of 1619 records were screened, 19 studies met inclusion criteria, and the total number of participants was 10 838. Results Thirteen studies had low or moderate risk of bias, and six had a high risk of bias. All 19 studies reported smoking status and the pooled prevalence was 38% (95% CI 30% to 47%). The pooled prevalence in 6 studies of peripheral vascular diseases was 56% (95% CI 42% to 69%), the pooled prevalence of smoking in 11 studies of lumbar spine diagnoses was 28% (95% CI 20% to 36%) and the pooled prevalence in 2 studies of refractory angina was 44% (95% CI 31% to 58%). Conclusions The estimated prevalence of smoking in SCS patients is 2.5 times greater than the general population. Future research should focus on development, testing and deployment of tailored smoking cessation treatments for SCS patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-218
Number of pages5
JournalRegional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • chronic pain: back pain
  • neuromodulation: spinal cord stimulation
  • pain medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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