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Passive Smoking and Coronary Heart Disease

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A large series of clinico-epidemiological studies, meta-analyses and experimental findings have concluded that there is a relationship between coronary heart disease (CHD) and passive smoking either after acute or chronic exposure.

Cigarette smoking is the most important cause of premature death in industrialized countries because it is associated with an increased risk of developing several types of cancer and arterial disease.

In family homes as well as in workplaces, environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure is associated with an increased risk of CHD in exposed non-smokers when compared to un-exposed non-smokers.

Different anatomical structures are damaged by ETS. The endothelium, artery wall and heart are target organs for passive smoking. Therefore, smoking cessation will benefit both smokers and those exposed to ETS.

Keywords: coronary heart disease; passive smoking

Document Type: Review Article


Affiliations: Via Provinciale 27 19030 CASTELNUOVO MAGRA (SP), Italy.

Publication date: 2004-04-01

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  • Vascular disease is the commonest cause of death in Westernized countries and its incidence is on the increase in developing countries. It follows that considerable research is directed at establishing effective treatment for acute vascular events. Long-term treatment has also received considerable attention (e.g. for symptomatic relief). Furthermore, effective prevention, whether primary or secondary, is backed by the findings of several landmark trials.

    Vascular disease is a complex field with primary care physicians and nurse practitioners as well as several specialties involved. The latter include cardiology, vascular and cardio thoracic surgery, general medicine, radiology, clinical pharmacology and neurology (stroke units). Current Vascular Pharmacology will publish reviews to update all those concerned with the treatment of vascular disease. For example, reviews commenting on recently published trials or new drugs will be included. In addition to clinically relevant topics we will consider 'research-based' reviews dealing with future developments and potential drug targets. Therefore, another function of Current Vascular Pharmacology is to bridge the gap between clinical practice and ongoing research.

    Debates will also be encouraged in the correspondence section of this journal.
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