Effects of Tobacco Use
Smoking ups risk of common heart rhythm problem
Smoking increases the risk of atrial fibrillation (AF), a heart rhythm disorder that affects approximately two million Americans. A new study published in the American Heart Journal found that out 5700 Dutch adults over the age of 55, current and former smokers were 50% more likely to develop AF over a 7 year period. According to the researchers, this is the first time an independent effect of smoking on AF has been shown. While AF alone is not life threatening, it has been shown to be a contributor to stroke and heart failure in some people. Click here for more information.
Smokers with stroke in the family 6 times more likely to have a stroke too
A population-based case-control study found that smokers who have a family history of brain aneurysms are significantly more likely to suffer from a brain aneurysm related to a stroke themselves than non-smokers with a family history of aneurysm. The study did not find a link between former smokers and stroke and that this risk could be cut in half by quitting smoking. High blood pressure, diabetes, alcohol use, body mass index, and education level did not alter the results. Click here for a summary of the study. Click here to read the abstract in the journal Neurology.
Cigarette smoke allows allergens to cross the respiratory epithelium
A recent study conducted by researchers at the Medical University of Vienna suggests that exposure to cigarette smoke damages the protective respiratory epithelial barrier. The study found that when the human bronchial epithelial cells are exposed to cigarette smoke extract there is more than a threefold increase in allergen penetration. The findings suggest that cigarette smoke could contribute to increased allergic inflammation and the exacerbation of allergic disease. Click here for more information. Click here to read an abstract of the study published in the journal Allergy.
Smoking linked to most male cancer deaths
The association between tobacco smoke and cancer deaths beyond lung cancer deaths has been strengthened by a recent study from a UC Davis researcher, suggesting that increased tobacco control efforts could save more lives than previously estimated. This study provides support for the growing understanding among researchers that smoking is a cause of many more cancer deaths besides lung cancer. To read more about this recent study published in ScienceDaily, click here.
Researchers estimate the number of smoking deaths in China (China)
Researchers at Tulane University conducted a study to estimate how many premature deaths in China in 2005 could be attributed to smoking. The researchers looked at survey data on 167,871 Chinese adults who were over the age of 40. They found that there was a significant association between the total number of cigarettes smoked and the deaths attributable to smoking across genders. The study estimates that there were 673,000 smoking related deaths in 2005 with the leading causes of death being cancer, cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease. The study did see a lower relative risk in China when compared to similar studies in Western populations. They contribute this to possible differences in smoking patterns. The researchers note that China’s population of 1.3 billion makes up a large proportion of the number of deaths attributable to smoking worldwide. Click here to read more. Click here to access the full study in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Smoking during pregnancy may impair thyroid function of mom and fetus (UK)
Researchers from the Peninsula Medical School and Exeter Hospital in the UK recently conducted a study looking at the effects of smoking during pregnancy on the mother and the fetus. To determine the thyroid function of the fetus the researchers measured the thyroid levels of the umbilical cord. The study found that smoking while pregnant is associated with changes in the thyroid levels of both the mother and the fetus. Unhealthy thyroid function while pregnant is related to multiple complications including increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight and impaired neuropsychological development of the infant. The study also found that if the mother quits smoking while pregnant, her thyroid levels could return to levels similar to non-smokers. Click here to read more. Click here to read an abstract of the article published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Tobacco smoking as a risk factor for major depressive disorder: population-based study (Australia)
A population-based sample of women was studied using case–control and retrospective cohort study designs. Exposure to smoking was self-reported, and major depressive disorder diagnosed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM–IV–TR. Among 165 people with major depressive disorder and 806 controls, smoking was associated with increased odds for major depressive disorder. Compared with non-smokers, odds for major depressive disorder more than doubled for heavy smokers. The results evidenced from cross-sectional and longitudinal data suggests that smoking increases the risk of major depressive disorder in women. To read the full article published in The British Journal of Psychiatry, click here.
Back to Table of Contents