Tobacco smoking is a major cause of many diseases, including lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, aging and death. The associations between tobacco smoking, serum amyloid A (SAA) protein, rheumatoid factor (RF) and lipid profile were examined in 275 men that were divided into three groups according to their age (less than 20 years, 20 to 40 years and above 40 years), of which 91 were currently light cigarette smokers (less than 20 cigarettes/day), 91 were heavy smokers (20 cigarettes or more/day) and 93 had never smoked (control). As such, all men were part of a long-term survey and it was obtained that, heavy smokers had significantly higher SAA levels than light smokers or those who had never smoked at all (p < 0.01 and <0.001 respectively). Mean serum level of RF was statistically and significantly higher in heavy smokers of over 40 years age group, whereas serum glucose, triacylglycerol and total cholesterol levels were not affected by smoking in the different age groups when compared with the control group. However, serum LDL-c was significantly elevated and HDL-c level was decreased in heavy smokers (p < 0.001) and light smokers (p < 0.05) as compared to the control groups. Tobacco smoking is a risk factor for many diseases, related to SAA and RF (coronary heart diseases and Alzheimer rheumatoid arthritis), and these parameters can be used as prognostic markers in surveying the hazardous effect of tobacco smoking.
Key words: Tobacco smoking, serum amyloid A protein, lipid profile, Saudi Arabia.
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