Washington: New findings into why obese cigarette smokers experience a high risk of heart disease suggest that cigarette smoke affects the activity of hundreds of key genes that both protect the heart and lungs and expose them to damage.
The research suggests that the effects may be especially profound in obese nonsmokers who inhale "sidesteam smoke" from cigarettes smoldering nearby.
Diana J. Bigelow and colleagues point out that active smoking doubles the risk of heart disease, while second-hand smoke exposure increases this risk by about one-third.
They set out to gain more information on why the risks are especially high among people with obesity, using specially fed laboratory mice that are stand-ins for humans in such experiments.
The report describes how mainstream smoke and to a greater extent, sidestream smoke, inhibit the activity of genes that protect the heart and lungs, and activate genes associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
The study is published in ACS` Chemical Research in Toxicology.