Passive Smoking, Endothelial Dysfunction and Related Markers in Healthy Individuals: An Update
By the analysis of previous studies, functional and biochemical markers related to environmental tobacco
smoke (ETS) exposure are discussed. 18 healthy never smokers, 12 men (67%) and 6 women (33%) aged from 21 to 55
years (mean: 34+/-9 ys.) underwent experimental procedures twice. in a smoking free environment and in the same
environment polluted by 35 ppm carbon monoxide derived from smoked cigarettes.
Brachial artery ultrasonography, exercise stress testing, heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP) monitoring, and
carboxyhaemoglobin (COHb) concentrations were examined.
Five markers related to ETS exposure of healthy individuals could be demonstrated: l. Impaired FMD as an effect of
endothelial dysfunction, 2. Transient increase in systolic BP; 3. HR increase; 4. Diminished tolerance to exercise; 5.
Increased COHb blood concentrations. Some of these feel the effects of sympathetic stimulation induced by both nicotine
and carbon monoxide.
Since both active and passive smoking are believed to be a chemical toxicosis, avoiding ETS exposure of healthy nonsmokers
must be a categorical imperative.
Keywords: Passive smoking, healthy individuals, endothelial function, exercise tolerance, heart rate, blood pressure,
carboxyhaemoglobin, chemical toxicosis
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