Does long-term smoking affect aortic stiffness more in women than in men?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Smoking is a well-known risk factor for cardiovascular disease, although understanding of the pathophysiological mechanism is incomplete. The effect of heavy smoking, for more than 20 years and of 20 cigarettes per day, on aortic stiffness was studied in women (n = 23, age range 43-61 years) and men (n = 21, age range 43-61 years) who smoked but were otherwise healthy and compared with a healthy reference population that did not smoke. Aortic stiffness (beta) was calculated from the diameter and the pulsatile diameter change determined non-invasively using an ultrasonic echo-tracking system and blood pressure obtained by the auscultatory method. The results showed that aortic diameter did not differ in smoking males (P = 0.974) or in smoking females (P = 0.361). Aortic stiffness was increased in the female (P = 0.041) but not male smokers (P = 0.222). Systolic, mean and diastolic blood pressure in the men and women who smoked did not differ from those in the healthy reference population. In conclusion, this investigation shows increased aortic stiffness in female but not in male smokers. It indicates that the aorta of women might be more vulnerable to smoking with regard to stiffening and degeneration than the aorta of men.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Clinical Medicine
  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging


  • gender differences, echo-tracking ultrasonography, cigarette compliance, arterial distensibility
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-447
JournalClinical Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1997

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Emergency medicine/Medicine/Surgery (013240200), Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine Unit (013242320)