May 30, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

No threshold for the adverse effects of secondhand smoke on blood vessels

We have shown that 30 minutes of exposure to secondhand smoke at levels about like experienced in a bar damage and compromise the functioning of arteries in a way that increases the likelihood of a heart attack.
Recently Paul Frey and others here at UCSF published a paper examining what happened to the ability of arteries to function at lowere levels of secondhand smoke.  We exposed healthy people to a range of relatively low concentrations of aged secondhand smoke (SHS), similar to those encountered commonly in the community and found that short-term exposure to real-world levels of aged SHS for 30 min resulted in a concentration-dependent decrease in endothelial function as measured by how well arteries dilated in response to demands for increased blood flow (flow-mediated dilation).
There was no evidence of a threshold for this effect, i.e., it was detected even as the exposures of SHS went down.

This study adds to the evidence that even a little secondhand smoke is dangerous.

The full paper is “The Exposure-Dependent Effects of Aged Secondhand Smoke on Endothelial Function” by Paul F. Frey,     Peter Ganz, Priscilla Y. Hsue, Neal L. Benowitz, Stanton A. Glantz, John R. Balmes, and Suzaynn F. Schick.  Journal of the American College of Cardiology.  Available online 14 May 2012. available here.

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