Smoking intensity and duration is associated with cardiac structure and function: the ECHOcardiographic Study of Hispanics/Latinos

Open Heart. 2017 Jun 14;4(2):e000614. doi: 10.1136/openhrt-2017-000614. eCollection 2017.


Objective: Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in smokers and this relationship is complicated by the multiplicity of cardiovascular effects of smoking. However, the relationship between intensity and duration of cigarette smoking and echocardiographic measures of right and left ventricular structure and function has been poorly studied.

Methods: We examined ECHO-SOL (Echocardiographic Study of Hispanics/Latinos) participants, a subset of the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos. Participants were administered a detailed tobacco exposure questionnaire and a comprehensive echocardiography exam. Multivariable linear regression models (adjusted for age, sex, obesity, hypertension and diabetes statuses) were performed using sampling weights. Statistical significance was defined at p<0.01.

Results: There were 1818 ECHO-SOL participants (57.4% women, mean age 56.4 years). Among current smokers (n=304), increased duration of smoking, as measured by a younger age of smoking initiation, was significantly associated with higher mean left ventricular mass (LVM) and lower right ventricular (RV) function (lower right ventricular stroke volumes). More cigarettes smoked per day was significantly associated with higher mean LVM, worse diastolic function (higher E/e' ratio), worse LV geometry (increased relative wall thickness) and worse RV function (decreasing right ventricular stroke volume). Among current smokers, higher mean lifetime pack-years (a combined measure of smoking intensity and duration) was associated with higher LVM, worse LV geometry, worse diastolic function, greater RV dilatation and worse RV function.

Conclusions: There is a dose-response relationship between intensity and duration of cigarette tobacco smoking with unfavourable changes of multiple measures of right-sided and left-sided cardiac structure and function.

Keywords: echocardiography; epidemiology; left ventricular function; right ventricular function; smoking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural