Introduction: Smoking leads to more respiratory symptoms and negative effects on the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in women than men for the same smoking burden. However, the relationship between smoking and body composition and its influencing factors remains unclear. In this study, we aim to investigate the effects of smoking on body composition, pulmonary function, physical activity and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among healthy women.
Materials and methods: A total of 73 young healthy women, current cigarette smokers and who had never smoked were included. The level of physical activity was assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire; body mass index, circumference measurements, waist-to-hip ratio, skinfold measurements and body fat percentage were used to determine the body composition; HRQOL was assessed through the World Health Organization Quality of Life Instrument; level of depression and anxiety were evaluated using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale; pulmonary functions were evaluated with spirometry.
Result: We found higher incidence of respiratory symptoms and lower physical activity levels in smokers than those of non-smokers (p< 0.05). There was no significant difference between smokers and non-smokers in respect of HRQOL, depression and anxiety (p> 0.05). In smokers whom cigarette consumption more than 150 p-years, we observed positive correlations between cigarette consumption and arm circumference, waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio (p< 0.05).
Conclusions: Our results show that the smoking causes an increase in the incidence of respiratory symptoms and reduces the level of physical activity in healthy women. Additionally it leads to abdominal obesity depending on cigarette consumption.