Author(s): Freedman DS, Flanders WD, Barboriak JJ, Malarcher AM, Gates L
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Abstract Because of previously reported associations among the total leukocyte count, cigarette smoking, and risk of cardiovascular disease, we examined the relation of cigarette smoking to various leukocyte subpopulations among 3467 men aged 31 to 45 years. The median total leukocyte count was 36\% higher (7840 vs. 5760 cells/mL) among current cigarette smokers than among men who had never smoked, and both stratification and regression analyses were used to examine independent associations with leukocyte subpopulations. At equivalent counts of other subpopulations, CD4+ lymphocytes and neutrophils were the cell types most strongly associated with cigarette smoking; each standard deviation change in counts of these subpopulations increased the odds of current (vs. never) smoking by approximately threefold. Furthermore, whereas 15\% of the 238 men with relatively low (< 25 percentile) counts of both neutrophils and CD4+ lymphocytes were cigarette smokers, 96\% of the 249 men with relatively high counts of both subpopulations were current smokers. Counts of T lymphocytes also tended to be higher among the 32 men with self-reported ischemic heart disease than among other men. These results, along with previous reports of immunologically active T lymphocytes in atherosclerotic plaques, suggest that this subpopulation may be of particular interest in studies examining the relation of leukocytes to cardiovascular disease.
This article was published in Ann Epidemiol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pharmacology