Environmental tobacco smoke and ischemic heart disease

Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2003 Jul-Aug;46(1):31-8. doi: 10.1016/s0033-0620(03)00078-1.


Cohort and case control studies show a 30% excess risk of ischemic heart disease in nonsmokers whose spouses smoke compared with that in nonsmokers whose spouses do not smoke. There is a nonlinear dose-response; the excess risk from actively smoking 20 cigarettes/day is only 80%. Large cohort studies of active smoking support the nonliner dose-response (the excess risk in smokers of 5 cigarettes/day is about 50%). Animal studies show a pronounced vascular effect of environmental tobacco smoke. In experimental studies passive and active smoking have similar effects on platelet aggregation. The collective evidence supports a significant effect of low dose tobacco smoke exposure in causing ischaemic heart disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Ischemia / epidemiology
  • Myocardial Ischemia / etiology*
  • Risk
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects*


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution