Smoking Worse Than Inactivity for Lung Function

Article excerpt

CRYSTAL CITY, VA. -- The combination of smoking and an active lifestyle was associated with significantly worse lung function than was the combination of nonsmoking and a sedentary lifestyle in blacks, on the basis of data from more than 3,000 participants in the Jackson Heart Study.

Previous studies have shown that the poor lung function associated with a sedentary lifestyle can significantly predict cardiovascular problems, said Brenda Campbell Jenkins, Ph.D., and her colleagues at Jackson (Miss.) State University.

Additional research suggests that blacks might be especially vulnerable to lung damage from smoking, the researchers noted.

But no study has examined the combined effects of smoking and sedentary lifestyle and their effects on lung function, Dr. Campbell Jenkins said in an interview. "We know that among African Americans there is a low prevalence of smoking and a high prevalence of sedentary lifestyle," she said.

In this study, the researchers examined the joint effect of smoking and sedentary lifestyle on heart health in blacks, using data from the Jackson Heart Study, a population-based observational study including black adults aged 21-94 years living in the area of Jackson, Miss.

The researchers measured pulmonary function using forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume per second (FE[V.sub.1]). The study findings were presented in a poster at the meeting.

The participants were divided into four groups: nonsmoking nonsedentary, nonsmoking sedentary, smoking nonsedentary, and smoking sedentary. Sedentary lifestyle was defined as the lowest quartile of physical activity.

The mean percentages of predicted FE[V.sub.1] values in women in the nonsmoking nonsedentary, nonsmoking sedentary, smoking nonsedentary, and smoking sedentary groups were 95%, 94%, 89%, and 85%. The differences between women in the nonsmoking sedentary and in the smoking nonsedentary groups were significant after adjusting for multiple variables. …