Longitudinal Effects of Cigarette Smoking and Smoking Cessation on Aortic Wave Reflections, Pulse Wave Velocity, and Carotid Artery Distensibility.J Am Heart Assoc 2019; 8(24):e013939JA
Background We evaluated the effects of smoking and smoking cessation on aortic wave reflections (augmentation index), aortic pulse wave velocity, and carotid artery distensibility and stiffness (distensibility coefficient, Young's elastic modulus). Methods and Results Current smokers underwent carotid, radial, and femoral artery tonometry and carotid ultrasound at baseline and 3 years after a quit attempt. Baseline associations of smoking heaviness markers (exhaled carbon monoxide and cigarettes smoked/d) and effects of smoking cessation at year 3 on changes in arterial measures were assessed using multivariable linear regression models. The 1417 smokers (54% female) were mean (SD) 49.3 (11.6) years old and smoked 17.2 (8.3) cigarettes/d (exhaled carbon monoxide 14.7 [8.2] parts per million). Arterial measures were associated more strongly with age, blood pressure (BP), and waist circumference than with smoking heaviness markers. Augmentation index was associated independently with carbon monoxide (P=0.004). Pulse wave velocity, distensibility coefficient, and Young's elastic modulus had small, inconsistent associations with smoking heaviness markers. At year 3, augmentation index improved with smoking cessation (P=0.006) despite more weight gain (2.54 vs 0.36 kg, P<0.001) and insulin resistance (P=0.001) among abstainers, but distensibility coefficient decreased (P=0.004). Changes in arterial measures were related more strongly to changes in BP than smoking cessation. Conclusions Arterial wave reflection and stiffness measures were associated more strongly with age, BP, and waist circumference than smoking heaviness. Smoking cessation was associated with weight gain and increased insulin resistance. Changes in arterial measures were predicted by changes in BP, highlighting the need to address weight gain and BP changes during a quit attempt.