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QJM. 2006 Jun;99(6):407-15. Epub 2006 May 10.

Smoking status, obesity and hypertension in a general population sample: a cross-sectional study.

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  • 1Institute of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, University of Greifswald, Walther-Rathenau-Str. 48, D-17487 Greifswald, Germany.



In some studies, hypertension is more common in never and former smokers than in current smokers.


To examine the associations between hypertension and smoking status, when divided into subgroups by overweight and obesity.


Cross-sectional study.


We used data from a national health survey with a probability sample of the national population of Germany aged 18 to 79 (n = 6903 with complete data). Smoking status data were collected via questionnaire. Obesity and overweight were assessed by body mass index, hypertension by blood pressure measurement and by participants' statements about antihypertensive treatment. Analyses were adjusted for gender, age, history of coronary artery disease, serum cholesterol levels, alcohol drinking, exercise, and education.


Obese former smokers who were abstinent for 3 or more years had an adjusted odds ratio (OR) 3.6 (95% confidence interval, CI 2.3-5.7) for mild hypertension (> or =140 mmHg systolic or > or =90 mmHg diastolic blood pressure) and an adjusted OR 6.5 (95%CI 3.6-11.8) for moderate or severe hypertension (> or =160 mmHg systolic or > or =100 mmHg diastolic). Normal weight never or former smokers did not differ from normal weight current smokers smoking > or =15 cigarettes/day with regard to likelihood of hypertension (normal weight never smokers, OR 1.1, 95%CI 0.8-1.5; normal weight former smokers, abstinent 3 or more years, OR 0.8, 95%CI 0.5-1.3).


In this nationally representative sample, never or former smoking was unrelated to hypertension among normal weight individuals.

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