If we know the clinical consequences of chronic smoking – premature aging, cardiovascular disease, cancer – the biological pathways involved are not fully described. One team just highlighted several biomarkers altered specifically in smokers, which could help prevent the risks associated with smoking.
Smoking promotes premature tissue aging and increases the risk of developing cancer. It also degrades cardiovascular health by promoting increased vascular stiffness and thickening of the wall of key blood vessels such as the carotid artery. If the consequences of tobacco use are well known, the biological mechanisms at work are not yet well described. A team from Lorraine has also been looking for biomarkers in the blood that may link smoking to its clinical repercussions.
For this, Tripti Rastogi * and colleagues used data from the Stanislas cohort (for annual non-invasive temporary health surveillance of Lorraine residents with social security): Incorporated in 1993, it includes 1,006 Nancy families consisting of 2 parents and at least 2 biological children, who at the time had no chronic illness. . of its recruitment. “ The aim is to study the long-term evolution of the health of these people. “Explains the researcher. To this end, participants regularly benefited from medical visits. They also underwent different types of examinations: blood and urine tests, electrocardiogram, echocardiography … ” For this work, the links between the smoking status of the participants and the data of their biological and cardiovascular examinations performed at the Nancy Multithematic Clinical Research Center between 2011 and 2015 were sought. were conducted as part of the university hospital’s research program Fighting Heart Failure “, continues Tripti Rastogi.
Participants were ranked first according to their smoker status: smoker, non-smoker, or ex-smoker. At the time, the researchers found that the average age of people in the first group (36 years) was much lower than that of the other two groups (55 and 58 years, respectively). Despite this difference, smokers’ examinations have revealed alterations usually associated with aging: “ Smokers, for example, showed a thickening of the carotid artery and an increase in the stiffness of the arteries, two factors that generally promote high blood pressure and / or the formation of atherosclerotic plaques during aging. “says the researcher.
Twenty biomarkers associated with smoking
Biologically, Tripti Rastogi identified twenty blood proteins associated with premature aging, the blood concentration of which in active smokers is different from that observed in non-smokers. Some are involved in proinflammatory processes (TNFSF13B, CCL11), others are known to increase when vascular function is impaired (EDIL-3) or have been associated with processes that promote cell death or the development of cancer. KIT, EDIL-). 3). In addition, concentrations of proteins important for the regulation of inflammation (IL-12) or lipid metabolism (PLTP) in smokers were reduced. These differences persist even if all the specific parameters of the participants are taken into account (gender, age, body mass index, blood pressure, comorbidities and the use of antihypertensive or lipid-lowering drugs), suggesting that these changes are actually related to smoking.
” We also observed differences between smokers and ex-smokers, as well as between ex-smokers and those who had never smoked. adds Tripti Rastogi. With similar sociodemographic characteristics, for example, older smokers were more likely to have high blood pressure or dyslipidemia than those who had never smoked. They also had 11 proteins whose blood concentration was altered compared to non-smokers, including 6 common with active smokers. ” This suggests that, despite the duration of cessation of consumption (14 years on average), certain biological changes induced by tobacco persist.. »
This work has made it possible to describe several biomarkers that could be decisive for the clinical prognosis of smokers. ” We now want to do a retrospective analysis to assess the trajectory of these biomarkers over time, through health checks performed since the creation of the cohort. This would allow us to follow the dynamics of each of them, from the beginning of the smoking of some of the participants. These elements could be useful in developing a preventive approach to inflammation and / or premature aging associated with tobacco use. ” Anti-inflammatory treatments or antioxidants which have been tested so far have not shown any real effectiveness in managing cardiovascular risk. But this work has identified a limited number of protein markers that could constitute new therapeutic targets. An encouraging prospect, though the best approach is to reduce the appeal of tobacco and help smokers quit as soon as possible.
Font : T. Rastogi et al. Impact of smoking on cardiovascular risk and premature aging: results of the STANISLAS cohort. Atherosclerosisonline edition February 23, 2022. DOI: 10.1016 / j.atherosclerosis.2022.02.017