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27 November 2007

Cigarette Smoke Negates Heart Benefits of Alcohol

Breathing tobacco smoke is bad for cardiovascular health, and drinking alcohol at the same time only makes it worse, in spite of the reputed heart-protective qualities of moderate alcohol consumption.

Mice exposed to smoky air and fed a diet containing alcohol had a nearly five-fold increase in artery lesions. Mice on a normal diet who were exposed to the smoky air had only a 2.3-fold increase in artery lesions. Artery lesions are a key sign of advancing cardiovascular disease, and a common problem in heavy smokers.

The blood-alcohol concentrations of the mice were the equivalent of a 150-pound adult consuming 2 drinks per hour, and they experienced cigarette smoke exposure similar to being in an automobile with a chain smoker, with the windows closed.


* Eurekalert November 21, 2007

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