Exposure to second-hand smoke and alcohol significantly raises the risk of liver disease, a finding that adds to mounting evidence that tobacco smoke and alcohol are worse for health as a combination.
The researchers reported on mice exposed to smoky air in a laboratory enclosure and fed a liquid diet containing ethanol, the intoxicating ingredient in alcohol drinks. Mice who were exposed to second-hand smoke and drank ethanol had 110 percent more liver fibrosis proteins than mice who breathed filtered air. In addition, the twice-exposed mice had 65 percent more liver fibrosis proteins than mice who breathed the smoky air but did not drink the ethanol.
Fibrosis is scar-like tissue in the liver that can lead to cirrhosis.
Eurekalert February 3, 2009