Tobacco Use, Cardiovascular Disease, and CVD Mortality

"Cigarette smoking is a major cause of CVD, and past reports of the Surgeon General extensively reviewed the relevant evidence (U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare [USDHEW] 1971, 1979; USDHHS 1983, 2001, 2004). Cigarette smoking has been responsible for approximately 140,000 premature deaths annually from CVD (USDHHS 2004). More than 1 in 10 deaths worldwide from CVD in 2000 were attributed to smoking (Ezzati et al. 2005). In the United States, smoking accounted for 33 percent of all deaths from CVD and 20 percent of deaths from ischemic heart disease in persons older than 35 years of age (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2008). Cigarette smoking also influences other cardiovascular risk factors, such as glucose intolerance and low serum levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLc). However, studies have reported that smoking increases the risk of CVD beyond the effects of smoking on other risk factors. In other words, the risk attributable to smoking persisted even when adjustments were made for differences between persons who smoke and nonsmokers in levels of these other risk factors (Friedman et al. 1979; USDHHS 1983, 2001, 2004; Shaper et al. 1985; Criqui et al. 1987; Ragland and Brand 1988; Shaten et al. 1991; Neaton and Wentworth 1992; Freund et al. 1993; Cremer et al. 1997; Gartside et al. 1998; Wannamethee et al. 1998; Jacobs et al. 1999a). For example, in one study, the effect of cigarette smoking on the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) was evident even among persons with low serum levels of cholesterol (Blanco-Cedres et al. 2002)."


US Department of Health and Human Services. "How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease: A Report of the Surgeon General." Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2010, p. 355.