Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Secondhand smoke exposure linked to signs of heart disease: Exposure to tobacco smoke may be more dangerous than previously thought

Date:
March 7, 2013
Source:
American College of Cardiology
Summary:
Nonsmokers, beware. It seems the more you are exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke -- whether it was during your childhood or as an adult, at work or at home -- the more likely you are to develop early signs of heart disease.

Nonsmokers, beware. It seems the more you are exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke -- whether it was during your childhood or as an adult, at work or at home -- the more likely you are to develop early signs of heart disease, according to research being presented at the American College of Cardiology's 62nd Annual Scientific Session.

Researchers found that 26 percent of people exposed to varying levels of secondhand smoke had signs of coronary artery calcification (CAC), compared to 18.5 percent in the general population. The new data also shows that people who report higher levels of secondhand tobacco smoke exposure also have the greatest evidence of coronary artery calcification, a build-up of calcium in the artery walls as seen on a low-dose computed tomography scan. While previous studies have shown a marked increase in cardiac events related to secondhand tobacco smoke, authors say this study is the first to demonstrate a clear dose-response relationship between secondhand smoke exposure and the earliest detectable signs of heart disease.

"This research provides additional evidence that secondhand smoke is harmful and may be even more dangerous than we previously thought," said Harvey Hecht, MD, associate director of cardiac imaging and professor of medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center and study author. "We actually found the risk of secondhand smoke exposure to be an equivalent or stronger risk factor [for CAC] than other well-established ones such as high cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes. Passive exposure to smoke seems to independently predict both the likelihood and extent of CAC."

After adjusting for other cardiovascular risk factors, people classified as having low, moderate or high secondhand smoke exposure were 50, 60 and 90 percent more likely to have evidence of coronary artery calcification than those who reported minimal exposure. The apparent health effects of secondhand smoke on CAC remained regardless of whether the exposure was during childhood or adulthood. Dr. Hecht said these results further underscore the need for enforceable public smoking bans and other measures to reduce passive inhalation of cigarette smoke.

"Tobacco smoke can damage the coronary arteries of nonsmokers through many different ways, which can lead to plaque formation and then to heart attacks, so this lends more [credence] to enforcing smoking bans," Dr. Hecht said. "We know heart disease is significantly accelerated by secondhand smoke exposure, so it should be included as a routine part of medical exams and discussions about heart disease and try to prevent it as best we can."

This study included 3,098 healthy people between 40 and 80 years old who had never smoked (defined as having smoked fewer than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime) and who were already enrolled in the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute (FAMRI)-International Early Lung Cancer Action Program CT screening program from 2005-2012. Each provided detailed health information and had a single low-dose non-gated CT scan as part of the FAMRI program. A questionnaire was administered to gauge personal exposures to secondhand smoke. Researchers then assigned a total secondhand tobacco smoke exposure score based on a how long they were exposed (years), daily intensity (packs per day) and if smokers were allowed to smoke anywhere or if they were restricted or not permitted (permission status).

Compared to those who had minimal exposure to secondhand smoke, people with higher levels of exposure tended to be older, were more often women and more likely to have diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Although his team did not use the standard Agatston score to assess CAC, Dr. Hecht said this study further validates the utility of low-dose non-gated CT scans to measure the amount of plaque in the coronary arteries in nonsmokers exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke.

"By using this [imaging/approach], people who have been exposed to tobacco smoke can be evaluated for lung cancer, emphysema and coronary artery disease in a single low-dose scan," he said. As a general rule, people should limit secondhand smoke exposure as much as possible.

Future research directions will include how to determine if decreasing exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke can reduce new plaque formation and/or cardiac events in this group. This study was funded by the Flight Attendants Medical Research Institute.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

American College of Cardiology. "Secondhand smoke exposure linked to signs of heart disease: Exposure to tobacco smoke may be more dangerous than previously thought." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307123957.htm>.
American College of Cardiology. (2013, March 7). Secondhand smoke exposure linked to signs of heart disease: Exposure to tobacco smoke may be more dangerous than previously thought. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307123957.htm
American College of Cardiology. "Secondhand smoke exposure linked to signs of heart disease: Exposure to tobacco smoke may be more dangerous than previously thought." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307123957.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
More People Diagnosed With TB In 2013, But There's Good News

More People Diagnosed With TB In 2013, But There's Good News

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) The World Health Organizations says TB numbers rose in 2013, but it's partly due to better detection and more survivors. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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