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April 14, 2004

Lymphocyte Subpopulations Among Passive Smokers

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2004;291(14):1699-1700. doi:10.1001/jama.291.14.1699-b

To the Editor: Passive exposure to tobacco smoke has been reported to be a risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD),1 a relationship that may be mediated by chronic inflammation. Although an increase in memory and total CD4+ lymphocyte subpopulations of white blood cells (WBCs) in the blood of smokers has been documented,2 and an elevated WBC count is an independent risk factor for atherosclerotic vascular disease,3 a direct association between chronic exposure to passive smoking and immune status remains to be proven. We examined a sample of Japanese men to study the effects of passive and active smoking on lymphocyte subpopulations and WBCs.

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