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Original Research: SMOKING CESSATION |

A Pilot Study To Examine the Effects of Smoking Cessation on Serum Markers of Inflammation in Women at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Virginia Reichert, MSN; Xiangying Xue, MD; Diane Bartscherer, DNP; Daniel Jacobsen, BSN; Christine Fardellone, MSN; Patricia Folan, BSN; Nina Kohn, MA; Arunabh Talwar, MD; Christine N. Metz, PhD
Author and Funding Information

From The Center for Tobacco Control (Drs. Bartscherer and Talwar, Ms. Reichert, Mr. Jacobsen, Ms. Fardellone, and Ms. Folan), The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research (Drs. Xue and Metz), and The Biostatistics Unit (Ms. Kohn), The North Shore-LIJ Health System, Manhasset, NY.

Correspondence to: Christine N. Metz, PhD, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, The Susan & Herman Merinoff Center for Patient Oriented Research, 350 Community Dr, Manhasset, NY 11030; e-mail: cmetz@nshs.edu

*Currently at Stony Brook University Medical Center, Stony Brook, NY.


The work presented in this manuscript was the result of a Clinically Applied Research Grant awarded to Dr. Metz by the American Heart Association for improving cardiovascular risk in women through a smoking cessation program. In addition, Dr. Metz was funded by National Institutes of Health grant No. NIHRO1GM070727.

The authors have reported to the ACCP that no significant conflicts of interest exist with any companies/organizations whose products or services may be discussed in this article.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (www.chestjournal.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).


© 2009 American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 2009;136(1):212-219. doi:10.1378/chest.08-2288
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Background:  The links among smoking, inflammation, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) are well established. Several studies have demonstrated that quitting smoking reverses the risk of coronary heart disease within 5 to 10 years. However, the immediate effects of quitting smoking on inflammatory biomarkers associated with CVD risk have not been well described.

Methods:  In this pilot study, we examined a panel of circulating inflammatory biomarkers associated with CVD in “at-risk” women during the smoking cessation program. Forty-six women enrolled in a smoking cessation program consented to attend four study visits over 6 to 7 weeks. Health/medical information and blood were collected at each visit. Circulating levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interleukin (IL)-6, soluble TNF receptor (sTNFR)-I, sTNFR-II, and soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule (sVCAM)-1 were measured, and changes between baseline levels (visit 1, while smoking) and visits 2 through 4 were determined.

Results:  Significant reductions in circulating levels of TNF, sTNFR-I, sTNFR-II, and sVCAM-1 were observed among participants over the course of the smoking cessation program. Serum levels of both IL-6 and CRP declined during the smoking cessation program; the changes were not statistically significant, however.

Conclusions:  These findings suggest there are rapid consequences of smoking cessation on inflammatory biomarkers in women at risk for CVD. Additional, larger studies including diverse smokers desiring to quit are required to confirm changes in “measurable milestones” that could serve as motivating factors to assist smokers to quit.

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