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A Journal on Heart and Vascular Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Angiology and Vascular Pathology
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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2003 August;51(4):387-94

language: Italian

Early effects of cigarette smoking in hypertensive and normotensive subjects. An ambulatory blood pressure and thermographic study

Di Carlo A., Ippolito F.


Background. Among the acute effects of cigarette smoking there are an increase in the arterial blood pressure and a decrease in skin temperature. The aim of this study is to evaluate whether these effects are more evident in hypertensive subjects (HTS) than in normotensive (NTS) ones.
Methods. A monitored Ambulatory Blood Pressure method, an Agema 880 Thermograph and a Surgitron thermal stimulator have been employed. Ten NTS males and 10 HTS, age paired (50-60 years, mean 57.8), were examined. Area of interest, the volar face of the fingertips. The pressural and thermographic tests were performed with patients staying in a proper room for 2 h, smoking consecutively 4 cigarettes, one every 14 min. The tests were made at 0 time (baseline), after smoking each cigarette and, finally, 60' after the beginning of the last one.
Results. A rise in blood pressure and a fall in skin thermal gradients both in HTS and in NTS was seen since the first cigarette, and these values, more evidently in hypertensive subjects, were appeared progressively increased along with the other 3 cigarettes.
Conclusions. These results confirm the damage of smoking on peripheral blood vessels verified and also the cumulative effect of smoking more cigarettes. The similar increased percentage of ABP and telethermography (TT) values in these tests lead us to consider TT as a routinary method for the evaluation of a more general vascular damage provoked by cigarette smoking. Also, the immediate visual thermal effect (=thermal amputation) after smoking is very useful in smoking educative programs.

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