To investigate the effects of tobacco smoking on serum vitamin B12, folic acid and haematological parameters in healthy Thai smokers and non-smokers.
Cross-sectional study of smokers and non-smokers in a military unit in Bangkok, Thailand.
A military unit in Thailand.
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.
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.
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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