The study confirmed previous findings that tobacco smoke could possibly harm cardiovascular function. In addition, it extended those findings by showing that:
- cardiovascular responses during brief exposures were similar to those found during longer or higher-level exposures
- the response occurs with different types of smoke (tobacco, cooking oil and wood smoke)
- men respond to environmental tobacco smoke with a greater increase in indexes of sympathetic outflow to blood vessels than do women
The sympathetic nervous system produces the “fight or flight” response, which drives the heart and blood pressure and may cause damage if activated too long. Women respond with a greater parasympathetic response, dubbed “rest and digest,” which acts as a brake on the heart and blood pressure.
The study, Autonomic responses of men and women to particulate exposures, was conducted by Joyce McClendon Evans, Abhijit Patwardhan, Ashwin Jayanthi and Charles Knapp of the University of Kentucky; Roger Jenkins and Ralph Ilgner of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory; and Eric Hartman of CustomKYnetics, Inc. Ms. Evans will present the findings during the 122nd annual meeting of The American Physiological Society (www.the-aps.org/press), which is part of the Experimental Biology 2009 conference. The meeting will take place April 18-22 in New Orleans.
Controlled smoke exposures
Accumulating evidence indicates that an increase in air pollution is associated with an increase in heart attacks and deaths. These pollutants, including tobacco and cooking oil smoke, contain fine particles that evoke responses from heart and blood vessels indicating effects on their function.
This study briefly exposed people to low levels of common pollutants and measured their cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory responses. Forty healthy non-smokers (21 women, 19 men) whose average age was 35 participated in the experiment. The researchers exposed the participants to secondhand cigarette smoke, wood smoke or cooking oil smoke in separate trials as they sat in a 10-by-10-foot environmental chamber. The researchers cleared the air in the chamber after each trial.
They measured respiratory and cardiovascular function, including heart rate variability, breathing and blood pressure. These measures, in turn, gave researchers a picture of how the heart, circulatory and respiratory systems were reacting to the pollutants.
The study found that, particularly among men, exposure to smoke changed breathing patterns, raised blood pressure oscillations in peripheral arteries and shifted control of heart rate toward sympathetic domination. The sympathetic nervous system becomes active during times of stress, but can cause harm to the heart and blood vessels if activated too often or too long.
Women did not have a strong sympathetic response to the pollutants, a healthier response in the face of frequent exposure. That men would respond differently is not a surprise: women tend to have stronger parasympathetic responses, which are more protective of the cardiovascular system, Ms. Evans said.
These results confirm results from earlier studies, but with exposures that were at lower levels and for shorter lengths of time. The study also extended the findings in several ways, including finding that men and women respond differently.
“I was surprised we got statistically significant results with this low level of exposure,” Ms Evans said. “If we can detect these effects with smaller exposures, then the public health hazard from cigarettes and other particulate exposures may have been underestimated.”
The experimental protocols were reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Boards that oversee human studies at both the University of Kentucky and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function to create health or disease. The American Physiological Society (APS) has been an integral part of this scientific discovery process since it was established in 1887.
Donna Krupa | EurekAlert!
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.04.2017 | Life Sciences