To determine whether early vascular aging may be present in flight attendants with remote in-cabin secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure.
Twenty-six flight attendants with a history of in-cabin SHS exposure prior to the airline smoking bans were recruited. Pulse wave analysis, peripheral arterial tonometry, and brachial artery reactivity testing evaluated their arterial compliance and endothelial function.
Flight attendants with remote in-cabin SHS exposure have normal blood pressure, pulse wave velocity, and reactive hyperemia index, but abnormal pulse pressure, augmentation index, flow-mediated dilation, and hyperemic mean flow ratio.
These preliminary findings suggest that flight attendants with remote in-cabin SHS exposure have preclinical signs of accelerated vascular aging and raise new questions about the relationship between remote SHS exposure and vascular health.
Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center, Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute (Drs Wei, Shufelt, Ms Dhawan, Ms Torbati, Dr Bairey Merz); Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute (FAMRI) Bland Lane Center of Excellence on Second Hand Smoke (Dr Oestreicher Stock, Ms Jacob, Dr Benowitz, Mr Jacob, Dr Redberg); Division of Cardiology, Center of Excellence in Vascular Research at the San Francisco General Hospital (Ms Mills, Dr Ganz); Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Core (Mr Cook-Wiens), Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles; University of California, San Francisco Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science (TCORS) (Dr Ganz); and Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine (Drs Oestreicher Stock, Redberg), University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California.
Address correspondence to: Cathleen Noel Bairey Merz, MD, 127 S. San Vicente Blvd, Suite A3206, Los Angeles, CA 90048 (Noel.BaireyMerz@cshs.org).
Funding Source: This work was supported by the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute (FAMRI) and University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Bland Lane Center of Excellence on Second Hand Smoke; the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Conflicts of Interest: Dr. Neal Benowitz has served as an expert witness in litigation against tobacco companies.