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Women Health. 1995;23(4):27-38.

The relationship between smoking, cholesterol, and HDL-C levels in adult women.

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School of HPEL, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater 74078, USA.


The purpose of this study was to determine the independent relationship between smoking quantity and cholesterol (TC) and lipoprotein levels (HDL-C) in women. A total of 805 female subjects were grouped as: non-smokers, ex-smokers, light smokers, moderate smokers, and heavy smokers. TC and HDL-C were examined before and after controlling for the coexisting risk factors of age, body composition, fitness level, dietary fat intake, family history of coronary artery disease, oral contraceptive, and alcohol use. Preliminary analysis demonstrated significant differences (p < .01) in TC between heavy smokers and all other groups and significant differences in HDL-C between heavy to moderate smokers and ex- and non-smokers. After adjusting for confounding variables, the differences in TC and HDL-C remained unchanged between the groups. It was concluded that heavy to moderate smoking was independently associated with higher TC and lower HDL-C levels, and that smoking abstinence or smoking cessation may be associated with healthier lipoprotein profiles in adult women. Based on these findings, it was recommended that employers consider the provision of health promotion programs including seminars, behavioral modification workshops, as well as financial incentives for employees to stop smoking.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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