The exposure-dependent effects of aged secondhand smoke on endothelial function

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2012 May 22;59(21):1908-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2012.02.025.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate whether exposure to a range of relatively low concentrations of aged secondhand smoke (SHS), similar to those encountered commonly in the community, would impair endothelial function in a concentration-dependent manner.

Background: Exposure to SHS impairs endothelial function in humans. The concentration-dependent relationship for aged SHS effects on endothelial function after an exposure of short duration is unknown.

Methods: Thirty-three healthy nonsmokers were exposed to 1 of 2 low levels of aged SHS or to conditioned filtered air for 30 min. The primary end point was change in maximal percent brachial artery flow-mediated dilation after exposure.

Results: In a linear regression model for each increase in SHS exposure by 100 μg/m(3) respirable suspended particles, the absolute maximal percent brachial artery flow-mediated dilation was reduced by 0.67%. We did not find evidence of a threshold for the effect of SHS on flow-mediated dilation.

Conclusions: Short-term exposure to real-world levels of aged SHS for 30 min resulted in a concentration-dependent decrease in endothelial function as measured by flow-mediated dilation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology*
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Young Adult


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution