Pathophysiological Mechanisms of Tobacco-Related CVD

Glob Heart. 2012 Jul;7(2):113-20. doi: 10.1016/j.gheart.2012.05.003.


Cigarette smoking is a leading preventable risk factor for the development and progression of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Epidemiologic studies conclusively prove that both active smoking and secondhand smoke contribute significantly to morbidity and mortality related to CVD. Cigarette smoke is a mixture of several toxic chemicals, of which nicotine, carbon monoxide, and oxidant chemicals are most commonly implicated in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. Tobacco causes endothelial dysfunction, inflammation, insulin resistance, alteration of lipid profile, hemodynamic alterations, and a hypercoagulable state. All of these act synergistically as pathobiologic mechanisms of atherothrombosis in tobacco users.