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Relationship of tobacco smoking with serum vitamin B12, folic acid and haematological indices in healthy adults

  • Rungsunn Tungtrongchitr (a1), Praneet Pongpaew (a1), Malida Soonthornruengyot (a1), Duangkamol Viroonudomphol (a1), Niyomsri Vudhivai (a1), Anchalee Tungtrongchitr (a2), Benjaluck Phonrat (a3), Somchai Pooudong (a1) and Frank Peter Schelp (a4)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1079/PHN2003483
  • Published online: 22 December 2006
Abstract
AbstractObjectives:

To investigate the effects of tobacco smoking on serum vitamin B12, folic acid and haematological parameters in healthy Thai smokers and non-smokers.

Design:

Cross-sectional study of smokers and non-smokers in a military unit in Bangkok, Thailand.

Setting:

A military unit in Thailand.

Subjects:

One hundred and twenty-three male smokers from a military unit in Bangkok, who participated voluntarily in the study, were investigated. Sixty-six male non-smokers from the same unit were selected as controls. Fasting blood samples were collected for investigation of vitamin B12, folic acid and haematological variables.

Results:

The serum folic acid concentration of smokers was lower than that of non-smokers, but was not statistically significantly different. Haemoglobin was lower in smokers than in non-smokers; 16.3% of smokers were anaemic compared with only 3.0% of non-smokers. Anaemia was not related to folate deficiency. The white blood cell count was found to be higher in smokers than in non-smokers.

Conclusion:

The results of this study suggest that there were low serum folic acid concentrations in smokers compared with non-smokers, which might contribute to the development of vascular and cardiovascular diseases. The higher white blood cell count might be indicative alterations in the immune functions of smokers.

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*Corresponding author: Email tmrtg@mahidol.ac.th
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