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Clin Lab Haematol. 1995 Jun;17(2):131-8.

The effects of cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption on blood haemoglobin, erythrocytes and leucocytes: a dose related study on male subjects.

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BUPA Medical Research, London, UK.


The objective of this study was to quantify the combined dose related effects of cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption on blood haemoglobin concentration, erythrocytes and leucocytes. The subjects consisted of 17,670 males attending for routine health screening, with an average age of 43 years and a range of 16-91 years. The number of cigarettes smoked each day was divided into six categories, and declared alcohol consumption into seven. Of the 42 different combinations of smoking and drinking groups, five were not reported because they contained less than 30 subjects. Haemoglobin concentration was significantly increased in those smoking more than 10 cigarettes per day. Smoking also increased the PCV. Alcohol had no effect on Hb or PCV. The red cell count was reduced by alcohol consumption, with even the lowest consumption producing a significant decrease. Both smoking and drinking raised the MCV in a linear dose relationship. The marked increase in white cell count with smoking was seen even in subjects smoking 10 cigarettes per day or less. It is suggested that social habits such as smoking and drinking should be considered when interpreting blood haematology values. Changes in haematology results could be used to encourage a healthier lifestyle.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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