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Being a passive smoker can increase the risk of sudden death

Posted on 01.01.2015 08:31:33CET


Secondhand smoke exposure causes changes in the electrical activity of the heart, known as alternating heart attacks, which can lead to cardiac arrhythmia or sudden death, according to a study conducted in mice by scientists at UC Davis Health of the United States. United

In particular, the results of the work, published in the journal Perspectives on Human Health, suggest that exposure to smoke can change the cells that regulate the way the heart strikes.

To reach these conclusions, researchers exposed mice to tobacco smoke in a room designed to test the effects of inhalation of toxins on health. The smoke level was similar to those found in public places where there are smokers.

After four, eight, and 12 week exposure, six hours, five days a week, the researchers analyzed the hearts of rodents using high speed images and electrocardiograms, in order to detect changes in their electrical activity.

To test sensitivity to arrhythmias, hearts are stimulated by heart rate and at the same time calcium levels are analyzed, which regulates contraction of the heart and contributes to abnormal rhythms. The results were compared with the hearts of mice exposed to filtered air.

Thus, scientists noticed that the hearts of mice that were exposed in the open reacted to the tests normally, something that did not happen to those who had inhaled smoke. Finally, they found that calcium levels did not respond quickly enough, causing irregular heart rate.

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