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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


ARBOLEDA-MORENO, Yexania; STELLA HOYOS, Luz; CARVAJAL, Silvio  and  SIERRA-TORRES, Carlos H.. Genotoxicity from exposure to cigarettes in young smokers in Colombia. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2004, vol.15, n.6, pp.367-372. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the frequency of chromosome aberrations (CAs) in the peripheral blood lymphocytes of young cigarette smokers in the city of Popayán, Colombia. METHODS: In this cytogenetic case-control study there were 32 young cigarette smokers and 32 nonsmokers. All of them were between 19 and 29 years old and none used psychoactive drugs, suffered from chronic or infectious diseases, or had been exposed to chemotherapy or radiation therapy or to chemical agents in their work. A survey was used to obtain demographic information, occupational information (type of employment, type of and length of exposure to chemical agents), lifestyle information (consumption of alcoholic beverages and psychoactive drugs), and information on smoking (current or former smoker, number of cigarettes smoked daily, length of time smoking, and type of cigarettes smoked). The cases were matched with the controls by age (± 5 years) and sex. The microscopic study of the CAs using lymphocyte cultures was carried out under the light microscope with 100X magnification. For each study participant, 100 complete metaphase cells (2n = 46 chromosomes) were analyzed, counting the structural CAs (chromatid breaks and chromosome breaks) and numerical CAs (change in the number of chromosomes). The frequency of CAs was adjusted for alcohol consumption, using a univariate linear model. RESULTS: The frequency of total CAs was significantly greater in the young cigarettes smokers (6.02 ± 0.52) than in the nonsmokers (3.04 ± 0.50), and the greatest number of CAs (7.77 ± 0.88) was found in those who had a pack-year value of more than 3.0. In addition, there was a dose-effect relationship, shown by the increase in the frequency of CAs with an increase in the pack-years of consumption (coefficient of determination = 0.2257). CONCLUSIONS: We confirmed the association between cigarette consumption and CAs in young people who smoked relatively little. These results should be taken into account in order to formulate national smoking prevention policies and to evaluate their outcomes, from both the social, economic, and environmental standpoint and the standpoint of the health of future generations.

Keywords : Tabaquismo; trastorno por uso de tabaco; aberraciones cromosómicas; Colombia.

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