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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Association between secondhand smoke and obesity and glucose abnormalities: data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 1999-2010).

  • Author(s): Kermah, Dulcie
  • Shaheen, Magda
  • Pan, Deyu
  • Friedman, Theodore C
  • et al.

OBJECTIVE:The objective of this study is to investigate the relationship between cotinine level-confirmed secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure and glycemic parameters and obesity. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS:We examined a cohort of 6472 adults from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, 1999-2010. Serum cotinine levels and self-reported data on smoking were used to determine smoking status. The outcome variables were body mass index (BMI) and glycemic status (HbA1c), Homeostasis Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR), and fasting plasma glucose (FPG). Descriptive, bivariate, and multivariate analyses were conducted. RESULTS:Using cotinine level-confirmed smoking status, 1794 (27.4%) of the sample were current smokers, 1681 (25.0%) were former smokers, 1158 (17.8%) were secondhand smokers, and 1839 (29.8%) were non-smokers. In a generalized linear model after controlling for potential confounding variables, secondhand smokers had higher adjusted levels of HOMA-IR, FPG, and BMI compared with non-smokers (p<0.05). Adjustment for BMI demonstrated that some, but not all, of the detrimental effects of SHS on glycemic parameters are mediated by the increased body weight of secondhand smokers. CONCLUSIONS:We conclude that SHS is associated with obesity and worsening glycemic parameters. More studies are needed to show a causal relationship between SHS and glycemic parameters and to understand the mechanisms involved in the association.

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