Background: Smoking is the most prevalent and most preventable risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Smoking low-tar, low-nicotine cigarettes (light cigarettes) would be expected to be less hazardous than smoking regular cigarettes owing to the lower nicotine and tar yield.
Objective: To compare the chronic and acute effects of light cigarette and regular cigarette smoking on coronary flow velocity reserve (CFVR).
Methods: 20 regular cigarette smokers (mean (SD) age 24.8 (5.0)), 20 light cigarette smokers (mean age 25.6 (6.4)), and 22 non-smoker healthy volunteers (mean age 25.1 (4.2)) were included. First, each subject underwent echocardiographic examination, including CFVR measurement, after a 12 hour fasting and smokeless period. Two days later, each subject smoked two of their normal cigarettes in a closed room within 15 minutes. Finally, within 20–30 minutes, each subject underwent an echocardiographic examination, including CFVR measurement.
Results: Mean (SD) CFVR values were similar in light cigarette and regular cigarette smokers and significantly lower than in the controls (2.68 (0.50), 2.65 (0.61), 3.11 (0.53), p = 0.013). Before and after smoking a paired t test showed that smoking two light cigarettes acutely decreased the CFVR from 2.68 (0.50) to 2.05 (0.43) (p = 0.001), and smoking of two regular cigarettes acutely decreased CFVR from 2.65 (0.61) to 2.18 (0.48) (p = 0.001).
Conclusion: Smoking low-tar, low-nicotine cigarettes impairs the CFVR as severely as smoking regular cigarettes. CFVR values are similar in light cigarette and regular cigarette smokers and significantly lower than in controls.
- light cigarettes
- coronary flow reserve
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- coronary flow velocity reserve
- diastolic peak flow velocity
- left anterior descending artery