Original article| Volume 10, ISSUE 3, P159-165, December 1999

Dynamic vessel wall properties of large conduit arteries in habitual cigarette smokers


      Background: Smoking is a risk factor in the development and outcome of cardiovascular disease. The pathophysiological mechanisms involved have not yet been elucidated. To explore the effects of habitual smoking on arterial wall dynamics we determined cross-sectional compliance (CC) and distensibility coefficients (DC) of both common carotid arteries, the right common femoral artery, and the right brachial artery in a large group of habitual smokers not suffering from other cardiovascular risk factors, and we compared them with a group of non-smokers. Methods: The study population consisted of 187 smokers (S), 127 of whom wanted to quit smoking (QS), and 56 non-smokers (N). Participants were not known to have other cardiovascular risk factors. CCs and DCs were calculated using diameters and changes in diameters measured ultrasonographically with a vessel wall movement detector system. Pulse pressures were measured noninvasively at the left upper arm. Results: Stepwise regression analysis showed that the CCs and DCs of the various arteries were not influenced by smoking. Age was an important contributor to the arterial wall dynamics of both common carotid arteries. Conclusions: The present study did not show any major changes in large arterial wall properties due to long-term smoking.


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