Long Term Smoking Reshapes Heart

New research suggests that long-term exposure to cigarette smoke has the potential to reshape the left ventricle of the heart via increasing levels of the stress hormone norepinephrine and activating enzymes.

Research was conducted on rats exposed to five weeks of cigarette smoke. The rats activated mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), a class of enzymes that controls the growth and survival of heart muscle cells, as a result of exposure to the smoke. Echocardiography showed significant changes to the left ventricle, a process known as left ventricular remodeling. Also, there was evidence of systolic dysfunction. The rats also had increased levels norepinephrine, a stress hormone,

Sources: Gua L, Pandeya V, Geenenb DL, Chowdhuryb SAK, Pianoa MR. Cigarette smoke-induced left ventricular remodelling is associated with activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases. European Journal of Heart Failure. 2008;10:1057-1064.

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