Objectives The aim of this study was to survey the condition of cigarette exposure with cotinine in North China and discuss its destructive effects on arterial elasticity.
Methods 897 people were recruited for this study, and cigarette smoke exposure was diagnosed when the serum level of cotinine was above 1ng/ml. Brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) was measured using an automatic device.
Results 289(32.2%) people were considered to be obviously exposed to cigarette smoke. Participants in rural area had a higher exposure rate than those in Beijing (34.8% v 25.0%, p = 0.006). Compared with non-exposed participants, people exposed to cigarette smoke had a higher mean value of baPWV, after adjusting for covariates (1429 v 1393 cm/sec, p = 0.017).
As for people without smoke exposure, citizens in Beijing had higher values of baPWV than dwellers in rural area (1447 v 1380 cm/sec, p = 0.001), but no significant difference exist between the two areas in heavily and lightly exposed people.
Conclusions People exposed to cigarette smoke, determined by cotinine, has worse arterial elasticity. Both light and heavy cigarette exposure may bring about more harmful effects on arterial elasticity in rural areas than in cities in North China.