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Cardiorespiratory and immune response to physical activity following exposure to a typical smoking environment

Abstract

Objective Millions of non-smokers suffer daily passive smoking (PS) at home or at work, many of whom then have to walk fast for several minutes or climb a few sets of stairs. We conducted a randomised single-blind crossover experiment to assess the cardiorespiratory and immune response to physical activity following PS.

Design Data were obtained from 17 (eight women) non-smoking adults during and following 30 minutes of moderate cycling administered at baseline and at 0 hour, 1 hour and 3 hours following a 1-hour PS exposure set at bar/restaurant PS levels.

Results We found that PS was associated with a 36% and 38.7% decrease in mean power output in men and women, respectively, and that this effect persisted up to 3 hours (p<0.05). Moreover, at 0 hour almost all cardiorespiratory and immune variables measured were markedly reduced (p<0.05). For instance, FEV1 values at 0 hour dropped by 10.2% in men and 10.8% in women, while IL-5 increased by 59.2% in men and 44% in women, respectively (p<0.05). At 3-hour mean values of respiratory quotient, mean power, perceived exertion, cotinine, FEV1, IL-5, IL-6 and INFγ in both sexes, recovery diastolic and mean arterial pressure, IL-4 and TNFα in men, as well as percentage predicted FEV1 in women remained different compared to baseline (p<0.05). Also, some of the PS effects were exacerbated in less fit individuals.

Conclusion It is concluded that 1 hour of PS at bar/restaurant levels adversely affects the response to moderate physical activity in healthy non-smokers for at least 3 hours following PS.

  • Secondhand smoke
  • exercise
  • cotinine
  • respiration
  • inflammatory markers
  • smoking
  • cytokines

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    BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and British Cardiovascular Society