Arterial Endothelial Dysfunction Related to Passive Smoking Is Potentially Reversible in Healthy Young Adults

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Abstract

Background

Passive smoking is associated with early arterial damage, but the potential for reversibility of this damage is unknown.

Objective

To assess the reversibility of arterial endothelial dysfunction, a key marker of early atherosclerosis.

Design

Cross-sectional study.

Setting

Academic medical center.

Participants

60 healthy persons 15 to 39 years of age: 20 with no exposure to active or passive smoking, 20 non-smoking passive smokers (exposure to environmental tobacco smoke for >or=to1 hour per day for >or=to2 years), and 20 former passive smokers.

Measurements

Arterial endothelial function measured by noninvasive ultrasonography.

Results

Endothelium-dependent dilatation was significantly better in former passive smokers (5.1% +/- 4.1% [range, -1.2% to 15.6%]) than in current passive smokers (2.3% +/- 2.1% [range, -0.2% to 6.7%]) (P = 0.01), although both groups were significantly impaired compared with nonsmoking controls (8.9% +/- 3.2% [range, 2.1% to 16.7%]) (P Conclusions

In healthy young adults, arterial endothelial dysfunction related to passive smoking seems to be partially reversible.

Conclusions

This paper is also available at http//www.acponline.org.

Ann Intern Med.1999;130:578-581.

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