Short-Term Smoke Exposure Impairs Endothelial Function

Concentration-dependent effect seen with short duration of exposure to secondhand smoke

FRIDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- Short-term exposure to low levels of secondhand smoke (SHS) results in a concentration-dependent decrease in endothelial function, according to a study published in the May 22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Paul F. Frey, M.D., M.P.H., from San Francisco General Hospital, and colleagues investigated the effect of short duration of SHS exposure on endothelial function. They exposed 33 healthy nonsmokers to conditioned filtered air or to one of two low levels of aged SHS for 30 minutes.

The researchers found that for each 100 µg/m³ increase in respirable suspended particles in SHS exposure there was a 0.67 percent reduction in the absolute maximal percent brachial artery flow-mediated dilation. There was no evidence of a threshold for the impact of SHS on flow-mediated dilation.

"Short-term exposure to low levels of SHS for 30 min results in a concentration-dependent decrease in endothelial function, a key mechanism for all stages of atherosclerosis, making policies to limit SHS exposure at low concentrations important," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies developing or marketing smoking cessation medications and has been a paid expert witness in litigation against tobacco companies.

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