Navigation Links
Smoke from cigarettes, cooking oil, wood, shift male cardiovascular system into overdrive

NEW ORLEANS (April 17, 2009) Secondhand tobacco smoke and smoke from cooking oil and wood smoke affected cardiovascular function of men and women who were exposed to small doses of the smoke for as little as 10 minutes, according to a study from the University of Kentucky.

The study confirmed previous findings that tobacco smoke could possibly harm cardiovascular function. In addition, it extended those findings by showing that:

  • cardiovascular responses during brief exposures were similar to those found during longer or higher-level exposures
  • the response occurs with different types of smoke (tobacco, cooking oil and wood smoke)
  • men respond to environmental tobacco smoke with a greater increase in indexes of sympathetic outflow to blood vessels than do women

The sympathetic nervous system produces the "fight or flight" response, which drives the heart and blood pressure and may cause damage if activated too long. Women respond with a greater parasympathetic response, dubbed "rest and digest," which acts as a brake on the heart and blood pressure.

The study, Autonomic responses of men and women to particulate exposures, was conducted by Joyce McClendon Evans, Abhijit Patwardhan, Ashwin Jayanthi and Charles Knapp of the University of Kentucky; Roger Jenkins and Ralph Ilgner of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory; and Eric Hartman of CustomKYnetics, Inc. Ms. Evans will present the findings during the 122nd annual meeting of The American Physiological Society (, which is part of the Experimental Biology 2009 conference. The meeting will take place April 18-22 in New Orleans.

Controlled smoke exposures

Accumulating evidence indicates that an increase in air pollution is associated with an increase in heart attacks and deaths. These pollutants, including tobacco and cooking oil smoke, contain fine particles that evoke responses from heart and blood vessels indicating effects on their function.

This study briefly exposed people to low levels of common pollutants and measured their cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory responses. Forty healthy non-smokers (21 women, 19 men) whose average age was 35 participated in the experiment. The researchers exposed the participants to secondhand cigarette smoke, wood smoke or cooking oil smoke in separate trials as they sat in a 10-by-10-foot environmental chamber. The researchers cleared the air in the chamber after each trial.

They measured respiratory and cardiovascular function, including heart rate variability, breathing and blood pressure. These measures, in turn, gave researchers a picture of how the heart, circulatory and respiratory systems were reacting to the pollutants.


The study found that, particularly among men, exposure to smoke changed breathing patterns, raised blood pressure oscillations in peripheral arteries and shifted control of heart rate toward sympathetic domination. The sympathetic nervous system becomes active during times of stress, but can cause harm to the heart and blood vessels if activated too often or too long.

Women did not have a strong sympathetic response to the pollutants, a healthier response in the face of frequent exposure. That men would respond differently is not a surprise: women tend to have stronger parasympathetic responses, which are more protective of the cardiovascular system, Ms. Evans said.

These results confirm results from earlier studies, but with exposures that were at lower levels and for shorter lengths of time. The study also extended the findings in several ways, including finding that men and women respond differently.

"I was surprised we got statistically significant results with this low level of exposure," Ms Evans said. "If we can detect these effects with smaller exposures, then the public health hazard from cigarettes and other particulate exposures may have been underestimated."


Contact: Donna Krupa
American Physiological Society

Related biology news :

1. Cigarette smoke, alcohol damage hearts worse as combo
2. Vitamin E may increase tuberculosis risk in male smokers with high vitamin C intake
3. Scientists discover how cigarette smoke causes cancer: Study points to new treatments, safer tobacco
4. Fire without smoke
5. Alzheimers starts earlier for heavy drinkers, smokers
6. Fruits, vegetables and teas may protect smokers from lung cancer, UCLA researchers report
7. If your first cigarette gave you a buzz and you now smoke, a gene may be to blame
8. Infection blocks lungs protective response against tobacco smoke
9. Smoke smudges Mexico Citys air, chemists identify sources
10. Book explores global implications of wildland fire smoke
11. Where theres wildfire smoke, theres toxicity
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... 29, 2015 Today, LifeBEAM , ... with 2XU, a global leader in technical performance ... hat with advanced bio-sensing technology. The hat will ... monitor key biometrics to improve overall training performance. ... two companies will bring together the most advanced technology, ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... , October 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... --> adds Biometrics ... to 2021 as well as Emerging ... research reports to its collection of ... . --> ...
(Date:10/23/2015)... GOLETA, California , October 23, 2015 ... Instruments (SMI) announce a mobile plug and play integration ... interactive real-world tasks SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) ... established wearable solutions for eye tracking and physiological data ... with SMI Eye Tracking Glasses 2w and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 Capricor Therapeutics, ... focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class ... Chief Executive Officer, is scheduled to present at the ... at 10:50 a.m. EST, at The Lotte New York ... . . --> ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... Whitehouse Laboratories is pleased to announce that it has completed construction on ... to basic USP 61, USP 62 and USP 51 testing specific to raw materials ... micro testing performed by one supplier. Management has formally announced that the ...
(Date:11/23/2015)... 23, 2015 China Cord Blood Corporation (NYSE: ... provider of cord blood collection, laboratory testing, hematopoietic stem ... its preliminary unaudited financial results for the second quarter ... 30, 2015. --> --> ... Revenues for the second quarter of fiscal 2016 increased ...
(Date:11/23/2015)... PISCATAWAY, New Jersey , November 23, ... Centre (CCDC) announces the launch of the ... and the CSD-System, now complemented by three powerful ... support the discovery of new molecules, CSD-Materials for ... complete set of the CCDC,s applications incorporating CSD-Discovery ...
Breaking Biology Technology: