Background: The adverse effects of exposure to second-hand cigarette smoke on glucose and lipid parameters in women and the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. In this prospective community-based study, we examined the effects of passive smoking on glycemic parameters and lipid profiles in a Chinese female population.
Methods: Of 3197 healthy women enrolled (30 - 75 years), 2082 self-reported passive exposure to smoke (≥ 15 minutes/day, 3 days/week, > 1 year) and 1115 had no smoke exposure (control group). Data was collected via questionnaire, body measurements, and laboratory assays for glycemic parameters and lipid profiles.
Results: (1) Women exposed to second-hand smoke had significantly higher fasting plasma glucose, hemoglobin A1c, total cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and waist-to-hip ratio compared with the control group (p < 0.05), while 2-h plasma glucose, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and body mass indexes were similar compared with the control group (p > 0.05). (2) Logistic regression analysis showed that after adjusting for potential confounders, passive smoking women increased the risks of hemoglobin A1c and total cholesterol (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: In this population of Chinese women, exposure to second-hand cigarette smoke was associated with adverse effects on glucose and lipid profiles, suggesting an increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. These findings support the benefit of stopping smoking in the home and implementing no-smoking regulations in public areas in China and other developing countries to prevent diabetes and other chronic diseases.