advertisement
20 October 2008

Occasional smoking damaging

Even if you only sneak an occasional smoke, you are still doing damage to your arteries, a new study shows.

0
Even if you only sneak an occasional smoke, you are still doing damage to your arteries, a new study shows.

University of Georgia researchers using ultrasound found that the arteries of otherwise young, healthy adults who smoked less than a pack a week were 36% less responsive to changes in blood flow than nonsmokers, even if it had been days since their last cigarette.

This lack of responsiveness, known as impaired flow-mediated dilation, is an early sign of the arterial damage that typically foreshadows the development of cardiovascular disease.

How the study was done
"Most people know that if they have a cigarette or two over the weekend that it's not good for their arteries," study co-author Kevin McCully, a professor of kinesiology, said in a university news release. "But what they may not be aware of, and what our study shows, is that the decrease in function persists into the next week, if not longer."

The findings were published in the early online edition of Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology.

The researchers recruited 18 college students for their study, half of whom were nonsmokers. The smokers had less than a pack a week and had not smoked for at least two days before testing.

After their initial test, the occasional smokers had two cigarettes before having their arteries re-examined. At that point, there was another 24% drop in responsiveness compared to before they smoked.

McCully said further research is needed to figure out if the impaired arterial function is a relatively short-term phenomenon or not. – (HealthDay News, October 2008)

Read more:
Smoking may make you stupid
Smoking - never too late to quit

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Contraceptives and you »

Scientists create new contraceptive from seaweed Poor long-term birth control training leads to 'accidents'

7 birth control myths you should stop believing

Will the Pill make you gain weight? Can you fall pregnant while breastfeeding? We bust seven common myths about birth control.

Your digestive health »

Causes of digestive disorders 9 habits that could hurt your digestive system

Your tummy rumblings might help diagnose bowel disorder

With the assistance of an 'acoustic belt', doctors can now determine the cause of your tummy troubles.