Association between secondhand smoke exposure and hypertension: nearly as large as smoking

J Hypertens. 2020 May 7. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000002478. Online ahead of print.


: Active smoking is a widely accepted risk factor for cardiovascular disease and is recognized as a major public health problem. Passive smoking, also known as secondhand smoke exposure (SHSE), is thought to have similar cardiovascular consequences and the risk has been postulated to be equivalent to that of active smoking. A major component of this risk involves the connection with chronic hypertension. There are several population-based observational studies investigating the relationship between SHSE and chronic hypertension, all of which demonstrate a positive association. Given that SHSE appears to be a risk factor for chronic hypertension, SHSE should also be a risk factor for hypertensive end-organ disease. Many studies have sought to investigate this relationship, but this has yet to be fully elucidated. In this review, we focus on the current evidence regarding the association between SHSE and hypertension as well as exploration of the links between SHSE and hypertensive end-organ damage.