Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Even Occasional Smoking Can Impair Arteries

Date:
October 8, 2008
Source:
University of Georgia
Summary:
Even occasional cigarette smoking can impair the functioning of your arteries, according to a new University of Georgia study that used ultrasound to measure how the arteries of young, healthy adults respond to changes in blood flow.

Even occasional cigarette smoking can impair the functioning of your arteries, according to a new University of Georgia study that used ultrasound to measure how the arteries of young, healthy adults respond to changes in blood flow.

“Most people know that if they have a cigarette or two over the weekend that it’s not good for their arteries,” said study co-author Kevin McCully, a professor of kinesiology in the UGA College of Education, “but what they may not be aware of—and what our study shows—is that the decrease in function persists into the next week, if not longer.”

Previous studies have shown reductions in the arterial health of people who smoke regularly, McCully said, but what’s surprising about his finding is that the study subjects were occasional smokers (less than a pack a week) who had not smoked for at least two days before their ultrasound. The study, which appears in the early online edition of the journal Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, found that the arteries of occasional smokers were 36 percent less responsive to changes in blood flow than non-smokers.

McCully explained that the healthier an artery is, the more responsive it is to changes in blood flow. A reduction in responsiveness, known as impaired flow-mediated dilation, is an early sign of arterial damage that often foreshadows cardiovascular disease. The researchers recruited 18 college students for their study, half of whom were non-smokers. The other half smoked less than a pack a week and had not smoked for at least two days before undergoing testing.

The researchers measured the responsiveness of the participants’ arteries by inflating a blood pressure cuff around their non-dominant arm to reduce blood flow to the forearm for various durations up to 10 minutes. The researchers then rapidly deflated the cuff and measured how well the main artery in the forearm responded to the sudden increase in blood flow.

“We wanted to determine whether occasional smoking can impair flow-mediated dilation and found that repeated bouts of cigarette smoking—even if classified as occasional—appear to increase the risk for developing cardiovascular disease in otherwise healthy, young people,” said lead author Lee Stoner, a former UGA doctoral student and now a researcher at Christchurch Hospital in New Zealand.

After the occasional smokers underwent their initial test, they smoked two cigarettes and had their arteries re-examined. The researchers found that smoking dropped their arterial responsiveness by another 24 percent compared to before they smoked.

McCully acknowledged that the study used a relatively small sample size and said that further research is needed to determine if the impaired arterial function is a relatively short-term phenomenon or causes long-term damage. But he said that in light of his findings, people shouldn’t assume that smoking occasionally allows them to avoid the harmful effects of tobacco.

“We saw a definite effect of cigarettes on the arteries, even in young people who you would expect to be healthy,” he said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Georgia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Georgia. "Even Occasional Smoking Can Impair Arteries." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081007120417.htm>.
University of Georgia. (2008, October 8). Even Occasional Smoking Can Impair Arteries. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081007120417.htm
University of Georgia. "Even Occasional Smoking Can Impair Arteries." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081007120417.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins