Impact of Smoking and Smoking Cessation on Arterial Stiffness and Aortic Wave Reflection in Hypertension

Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, St James's Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland.
Hypertension (Impact Factor: 6.48). 05/2007; 49(5):981-5. DOI: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.107.087338
Source: PubMed


Cigarette smoking is an important modifiable cardiovascular risk factor and pathophysiological mechanisms may include a stiff vascular tree. Although smokers have stiffer arteries, whether smoking cessation is associated with reduced arterial stiffness is not known. We compared never-treated patients with essential hypertension (n=554) aged 18 to 80 years (56% females) classified as current smokers (n=150), ex-smokers (n=136), and nonsmokers (n=268). Ex-smokers were categorized into <1 year, >1 and <10 years, and >10 years of smoking cessation. Measurements included aortic stiffness, assessed as pulse wave velocity (Complior), wave reflection (augmentation index [AIx]), and transit time (T(R)) (Sphygmocor). Current and ex-smokers had significantly higher pulse wave velocity and AIx compared with nonsmokers (pulse wave velocity for current smokers: 10.7+/-0.2; ex-smokers: 10.6+/-0.2; nonsmokers: 9.9+/-0.1 m/s; P<0.001; AIx for current smokers: 31+/-1; ex-smokers: 30+/-1; nonsmokers: 27+/-0.8%; P<0.05), whereas T(R) was lower in current and ex-smokers compared with nonsmokers (T(R) for current smokers: 131+/-1.0; ex-smokers: 135+/-1; nonsmokers: 137+/-0.8 m/s; P<0.0001). There was a significant linear relationship between smoking status and pulse wave velocity (P<0.001), AIx (P<0.001), and T(R) (P<0.001), even after adjusting for age, sex, mean arterial pressure, heart rate, and body mass index. In ex-smokers, duration of smoking cessation had a significant linear relationship with improvement in pulse wave velocity (P<0.001), AIx (P<0.001), and T(R) (P<0.001), with arterial stiffness parameters returning to nonsignificant levels after a decade of smoking cessation.

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