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Eur Heart J. 2005 Sep;26(17):1765-73. Epub 2005 Apr 7.

Associations between cigarette smoking, pipe/cigar smoking, and smoking cessation, and haemostatic and inflammatory markers for cardiovascular disease.

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Department of Primary Care and Population Sciences, Royal Free and University College Medical School, Rowland Hill St, London NW3 2PF, UK.



To examine the associations between cigarette smoking, pipe/cigar smoking, and years since quitting smoking, and inflammatory and haemostatic markers.


A study in 2920 men aged 60-79 with no history of myocardial infarction, angina, stroke, or diabetes, and who were not on warfarin, from general practices in 24 British towns. After adjustment for other major cardiovascular risk factors, compared with never smokers, current cigarette smokers showed significantly higher levels of C-reactive protein (2.53 vs. 1.35 mg/L), white cell count (7.92 vs. 6.42 x 10(9)/L), and fibrinogen (3.51 vs. 3.13 g/L). They also showed higher levels of haematocrit, blood and plasma viscosity, tissue plasminogen activator antigen, and fibrin D-dimer, and lower levels of albumin. Primary pipe/cigar smokers showed levels similar to never smokers. Ex-cigarette smokers and secondary pipe/cigar smokers showed intermediate levels although secondary pipe/cigar smokers showed higher odds of having elevated white cell count and fibrinogen than ex-cigarette smokers. Most inflammatory and haemostatic levels improved within 5 years of smoking cessation but took over 20 years to revert to levels of never smokers.


These findings suggest that activation of inflammation and haemostasis may be potential mechanisms by which cigarette and pipe/cigar smoking increase cardiovascular risk.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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