Environmental tobacco smoke and myocardial infarction among never-smokers in the Stockholm Heart Epidemiology Program (SHEEP)

Epidemiology. 2001 Sep;12(5):558-64. doi: 10.1097/00001648-200109000-00016.


An increased risk for myocardial infarction (MI) related to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure has previously been reported, but several aspects of the association are still uncertain. We studied the MI risk associated with ETS exposure among 334 nonfatal never-smoking MI cases and 677 population controls, 45-70 years of age, in Stockholm County. A postal questionnaire with a telephone follow-up provided information on ETS exposure and other potential risk factors for MI. After adjustment for age, gender, hospital catchment area, body mass index, socioeconomic status, job strain, hypertension, diet, and diabetes mellitus, the odds ratio for MI was 1.58 (95% confidence interval = 0.97-2.56) for an average daily exposure of 20 cigarettes or more from the spouse. Combined exposure from spouse and work showed an increasing odds ratio for MI, up to 1.55 (95% confidence interval = 1.02-2.34) in the highest category of weighted duration, that is, more than 90 "hour-years" of exposure (1 "hour-year" = 365 hours, or 1 hour per day for 1 year). In addition, more recent exposure appeared to convey a higher risk. Our data confirm an increased risk of MI from exposure to ETS and suggest that intensity of spousal exposure, combined exposure from spouse and work, and time since last exposure are important.

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology*
  • Myocardial Infarction / etiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Social Class
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects*


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution