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2012 Press Releases


Brief Exposure to Secondhand Smoke May Hurt Heart Function

New Study Reveals Damage to Lining of Blood Vessels in as Little as 30 Minutes

(Englewood, NJ, May 17, 2012) – A half an hour is all it takes for secondhand smoke to cause significant damage to a person’s vascular function. That is according to a new study, published in the May 22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

"This is a very important study because it underscores the fact that even a little exposure to the toxic effects of cigarette smoke can have far reaching deleterious effects on your health,” said Jeffrey Matican, MD, Chief of Cardiology at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center. “Damage to the endothelial lining of your blood vessels is the first step in the cascade of events that ultimately lead to cholesterol plaque buildup in you arteries causing heart attacks and stroke.”

Researchers divided non-smokers between the ages of 18-40 into three groups. They exposed each group to one of three types of environments; clean air, low levels of smoke typically found in homes or restaurants or high levels typically found in bars or casinos.

In just 30 minutes, a major blood vessel showed signs of damage in participants in both secondhand smoke groups. Researchers say this happened because the inner lining of the blood vessels was not working properly. They also noted there may have been an even greater negative effect on the cardiovascular function had they repeated the process.

Not surprisingly, the consequences are dangerous and deadly. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports secondhand smoke causes an estimated 46,000 deaths from heart disease ever year. Another 3,400 non-smokers die of secondhand smoke-related lung cancer.

Researchers say the results highlight the importance of policies that limit the public’s exposure to secondhand smoke. Englewood Hospital and Medical Center implemented its own policy last year - making the entire campus a smoke-free facility for all employees, patients and visitors. To help support this initiative, Englewood Hospital offers the QuitSmart™ Smoking Cessation Program to anyone who wants to stop smoking.

“People have to believe that they are capable of quitting and with the right help, the process is much easier,” said Ken Capek, MPA, RRT Director of Respiratory Care and QuitSmart Counselor at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, who quit smoking himself 20 years ago.

To find out more about the QuitSmart™ Smoking Cessation Program at Englewood Hospital, call (201) 894-3157.

Source: Health Day

 

 
About Englewood Hospital and Medical Center
 
Englewood Hospital and Medical Center provides the highest level of compassionate, patient care and safety through a broad range of advanced clinical programs, treatments and diagnostic services. It is renowned for its bloodless medicine and surgery program, cardiac and vascular programs and its leadership in breast care, oncology and joint replacement services. Through its affiliation with the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Mount Sinai Consortium for Graduate Medical Education, this acute-care and community teaching hospital trains medical residents in many disciplines, including internal medicine, critical care medicine, surgery, pediatrics, podiatry, and pathology.  Its Vascular Fellowship Program has trained a generation of world-class vascular surgeons.  Additionally, many members of Englewood Hospital’s medical staff serve as faculty at Mount Sinai. Englewood Hospital has earned numerous accreditations from the Joint Commission and other organizations and is among the four percent of hospitals nationwide honored with the prestigious Magnet nursing award, a distinction that has been earned three times by its nursing staff.