Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Why Smoking Increases The Risk Of Heart Disease And Strokes

Date:
June 12, 2009
Source:
Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a reason why smoking increases the risk of heart disease and strokes. Nicotine promotes insulin resistance, also called prediabetes, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Researchers at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles and Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona have discovered a reason why smoking increases the risk of heart disease and strokes.

The study, which will be presented June 11 at The Endocrine Society's 91st annual meeting in Washington, D.C., found that nicotine in cigarettes promotes insulin resistance, a pre-diabetic condition that raises blood sugar levels higher than normal. People with pre-diabetes are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Theodore Friedman, MD, Ph.D., chief of the endocrinology division at Charles Drew University, said the findings help explain a "paradox" that links smoking to heart disease.

Smokers experience a high degree of cardiovascular deaths, Friedman said. "This is surprising considering both smoking and nicotine may cause weight loss and weight loss should protect against cardiovascular disease."

The researchers studied the effects of twice-daily injections of nicotine on 24 adult mice over two weeks. The nicotine-injected mice ate less food, lost weight and had less fat than control mice that received injections without nicotine.

"Our results in mice show that nicotine administration leads to both weight loss and decreased food intake," Friedman said. "Mice exposed to nicotine have less fat. In spite of this, mice have abnormal glucose tolerance and are insulin resistant (pre-diabetes)."

Studies have shown that smokers who are pre-diabetic have blood glucose levels higher than normal, but not high enough for diabetes, a known risk factor for heart disease. Smokers also have higher rates of diabetes, but it is not directly clear whether smoking is the cause, because there could be other risk factors, Friedman said.

In the tests, however, the mice receiving nicotine developed pre-diabetes and also had high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which increases blood pressure and blood sugar. The study's authors were able to partially reverse the harmful effects of pre-diabetes by treating the mice with a drug that blunts the action of nicotine.

"Our results suggest that decreasing insulin resistance may reduce the heart disease seen in smokers," Friedman said. "We anticipate that in the future there will be drugs to specifically block the effect of nicotine on insulin resistance."

New drugs are needed because those that are currently available are not specific enough to completely block nicotine's effects or they have bothersome side effects, said Friedman, whose study is one of 34 being featured at The Endocrine Society's 91st annual meeting..


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science. "Why Smoking Increases The Risk Of Heart Disease And Strokes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090611142550.htm>.
Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science. (2009, June 12). Why Smoking Increases The Risk Of Heart Disease And Strokes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090611142550.htm
Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science. "Why Smoking Increases The Risk Of Heart Disease And Strokes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090611142550.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. 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