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Atherosclerosis. 1998 Apr;137(2):253-8.

Cardiovascular risk factors in relation to cigarette smoking: a population-based survey among Asians in Singapore.

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Department of Community, Occupational and Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore.


To investigate how cigarette smoking increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, risk factors were compared between 166 cigarette smokers and 312 non-smokers, in a random sample of males (Chinese, Malays and Asian Indians) aged 30-69 years from the general population of Singapore. There was adjusted for age and ethnic group. The prevalence of hypertension was lower in cigarette smokers (15.2%) than non-smokers (21.9%), with the difference reduced by adjustment for body mass index (BMI). Smokers had: lower mean serum HDL-cholesterol (0.76 versus 0.81 mmol/l) and higher mean serum fasting triglyceride (1.92 versus 1.71 mmol/l), which will increase atherosclerosis; higher mean plasma fibrinogen (2.75 versus 2.67 g/l) and plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 [PAI-1] (24.9 versus 22.2 ng/ml), which will increase thrombosis; and lower mean plasma vitamin C (4.4 versus 6.4 mg/l) and serum selenium (118 versus 123 microg/l), which may increase atherosclerosis. Adjustment for BMI slightly increased the differences for HDL-cholesterol, fasting triglyceride, fibrinogen and PAI-1, indicating that less generalised obesity among smokers reduces their increased cardiovascular disease risk. Smoking was not found to be related to: diabetes mellitus; serum total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, apolipoproteins A1 and B and lipoprotein(a); plasma factor VIIc and prothrombin fragment 1 + 2; and plasma vitamins A and E and serum ferritin. There was no evidence of increased insulin resistance in smokers, as measured by mean fasting serum insulin.

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