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Smokers putting non-smoking men at risk of heart attacks.

Jefferis BJ, Thomson AG, Lennon LT, Feyerabend C, Doig M, McMeekin L, Wannamethee SG, Cook DG, Whincup PH. Changes in environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure over a 20-year period: cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. Addiction, 2009; 104(3): 496-503.

Non-smoking men who live with a smoker are at increased risk of a heart attack, a study has found. Researchers measured recent exposure to tobacco smoke in non-smoking middle-aged men taking part in the British Regional Heart Study by measuring the levels of cotinine--a compound carried in the blood--at two time-points 20 years apart. A blood cotinine level above 0.7 nanograms per millilitre (ng/ml) is associated with a 40% increase in the risk of a heart attack, and even a level of 0.2ng/ml may increase risk. From 1978 to 1980, 73% of the men had a cotinine level above 0.7ng/ml, and by 1998 to 2000 that proportion had fallen to 17%. Despite this, those living with smokers had levels nearly eight times higher than men whose partner did not smoke, with average cotinine levels of 1.39ng/ml. To reduce people's exposure to tobacco smoke further, efforts need to focus on reducing smoking in the home, say the researchers.
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Publication:Community Practitioner
Article Type:Abstract
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 1, 2009
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