Table of Contents  
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 36-42  

Association of smoking with blood lipids in coronary heart disease patients admitted in Taiping Hospital, Perak, Malaysia

1 Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kuala Lumpur Royal College of Medicine Perak, 30450 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
2 Unit of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Medical Campus, Jalan Sultan Mahmud, 20400 Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia

Date of Web Publication22-Dec-2015

Correspondence Address:
A.T.M. Emdadul Haque
Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kuala Lumpur Royal College of Medicine Perak, 30450 Ipoh, Perak
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0975-2870.172426

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Introduction: Cigarette smoking is one of the predisposing factors for cardiovascular diseases as it may increase low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) levels and decrease high-density lipoproteins (HDLs). Objective: To measure the blood level of LDL and HDL and compare the result between smokers and nonsmokers who suffered from coronary heart diseases (CHDs). Materials and Methods: This is a cross-sectional study. The information was collected by using a checklist from the records of CHD patients, admitted to Taiping General Hospital, Perak, Malaysia. Data collected were interpreted to find any significant association between smoking, level of total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL, and LDL. Results: Among the 196 patients included in this study, 85 were active smokers (43.4%), 54 ex-smokers (27.6%), and 57 nonsmokers (29%). Out of 171 patients with decreased level of HDL, 90.6% were smokers, 88.9% ex-smokers, and 80.7% of nonsmokers. It was found that significant changes occurred among the groups with decreased level of HDL (P < 0.05). Conclusion: HDL level is more reduced among the smokers compared to the ex-smokers and nonsmokers especially in the female.

Keywords: Coronary heart diseases, lipid profile, Malaysia, smoking

How to cite this article:
Haque AE, Kamaruzzaman SB, Haque M. Association of smoking with blood lipids in coronary heart disease patients admitted in Taiping Hospital, Perak, Malaysia. Med J DY Patil Univ 2016;9:36-42

How to cite this URL:
Haque AE, Kamaruzzaman SB, Haque M. Association of smoking with blood lipids in coronary heart disease patients admitted in Taiping Hospital, Perak, Malaysia. Med J DY Patil Univ [serial online] 2016 [cited 2022 Aug 17];9:36-42. Available from:

  Introduction Top

Coronary heart disease (CHD) has been an important public health problem in Malaysia, causing a lot of morbidity and mortality for a long time as like many other countries in both developing and developed the world. [1],[2],[3],[4],[5] "Coronary artery disease develops when the coronary arteries - the major blood vessels that supply them with blood, oxygen, and nutrients - become damaged or diseased." [6] The narrowing of the cardiac vasculature can be due to a number of factors. One of the most important is cigarette smoking. Tobacco can predispose to plaque formation through inflicting injury to the blood vessels by decreasing high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) and increasing low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C). [7] Plaque formation is one of the major predisposing factors of CHD and it can cause thickening of the arterial wall (atherosclerosis). [8] Thickened and narrowed blood vessels lead to depletion of blood supply to the heart. The oxygen demanding heart will infarct as the oxygen supply cannot meet the oxygen requirement. [9] Some studies were done to identify the risk factors for the development of CHD that was a leading cause of death and disability in both developed and developing countries. [10],[11],[12],[13],[14],[15],[16] Risk factors that are related to the development of CHD are cigarette smoking, increased fat consumption, increased serum cholesterol level, glucose intolerance, high blood pressure (BP), and obesity. [17],[18],[19],[20],[21] Some reputed journals mentioned that the risk factors for CHD are increased LDL, decreased HDL, and increase in total cholesterol and cigarette smoking. [22],[23],[24],[25] In some studies, it was also cited that abnormalities in blood lipids, smoking, and high BP were the major risk factors for the development of CHD. [14],[26],[27],[28],[29],[30] Studies revealed that established risk factors for the development of CHD are dyslipidemia: Specifically the increase in LDL and fasting triglycerides (TGs) and a decrease in HDL, cigarette smoking, diabetes, obesity, and physical inactivity. [31],[32],[33],[34] Any form of tobacco use can influence the levels of LDL and HDL and play a significant role in the development of CHD. Furthermore, there are many studies associating smoking with decreased levels of HDL. [22],[35],[36]

Research objectives

  1. To obtain the sociodemographic data, and the serum LDL-C and HDL-C concentrations of the CHD patients
  2. To compare the results between smokers and nonsmokers suffered from CHD
  3. To find an association of cigarette smoking with HDL-C and LDL-C levels
  4. To correlate between sociodemographic factors and the serum level of LDL-C and HDL-C.

  Materials and Methods Top

It is a retrospective cross-sectional study. The records of all the CHD patients admitted to Taiping Hospital between May 2011 and July 2011 were collected to gather necessary information. A Data Collection Sheet was designed to collect the patients' demographic data and risk factors-related information. "The diagnosis of hypertension is made when the average of 2 or more diastolic BP measurements on at least 2 subsequent visits is ≥90 mmHg or when the average of multiple systolic BP readings on 2 or more subsequent visits is consistently ≥140 mmHg. Isolated systolic hypertension is defined as systolic BP ≥140 mmHg and diastolic BP <90 mmHg. Individuals with high normal BP tend to maintain pressures that are above average for the general population and are at greater risk for development of definite hypertension and cardiovascular events than the general population." [37] Highly qualified consultant cardiologist confirmed CHD. Physical examination and necessary diagnostic blood test and electrocardiography (ECG) was done immediately. Later, when the patient was stable and improved computer tomography scan, stress testing, and angiography done. Inclusion criteria: All the CHD patients admitted to Taiping Hospital from May 2011 to July 2011. Exclusion criteria: Patients are having no CHD and the patients whose lipids profile was not done. IBM SPSS Statistics Version 20 was used to analyse the data. Variables were tested using Pearson test, simple individual t-test, and Chi-square test.

  Results Top

Of the 280 CHD patients admitted to the hospital, 196 cases were selected according to research criteria, and the data were extracted from the records. The age range of the patients was from 36 to 87 years, and the mean age ± standard deviation was 60.32 ± 11.67 for 116 males and 65.25 ± 11.42 for 80 females [Figure 1]. Smoking status between genders was divided into the smoker, nonsmoker, and ex-smoker. 25% (50) and 18% (35) of males and females of total study population, respectively, were smokers [Table 1]. The study subjects consist of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and others with the number of subjects 125, 37, 30, and 4, respectively [Figure 2]. Among them, 25% (48), 11% (22), and 6% (13) of Malay, Chinese, and Indian origin, respectively, were smokers [Table 2].
Figure 1: Smoking status of patients of different age groups

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Figure 2: Ethnic distribution of smoking status

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Table 1: Genders and smoking status

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Table 2: Smoking status between ethnic origins of patients

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A statistically significant (Chi-square test, P = 0.0492) correlation was found between smoking habit and high BP of the patients admitted to Taiping Hospital for CHD. Eight percent (15) and 3% (7) of males and females of total population, respectively, had high total blood cholesterol level, and a significant (Chi-square test, P < 0.05) correlation between smoking habit and high total cholesterol level in blood was found [Table 3]. Fourteen percent (27) and 6% (11) of males and females, respectively, had increased LDL level [Table 4], and there was a significant (Chi-square test, P < 0.005) correlation observed between smoking habit and high level of LDL. Fifty-three percent (104) and 34% (67) of males and females, respectively, had decreased HDL level [Table 5], and there was a significant (P < 0.005) correlation observed between smoking habit and low level of HDL. Among 85 smoker study population, 23% (45) and 16% (32) of males and females have decreased level of HDL cholesterol, respectively [Table 5]. Ten percent (20) and 5% (10) of males and females, respectively, had increased TG level [Table 6], and there was also a significant (Chi-square test, P < 0.005) correlation observed between smoking habit and high level of TG in the blood.
Table 3: Association between smoking habit and total cholesterol level

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Table 4: Association between smoking and LDL level

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Table 5: Association between smoking and HDL level

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Table 6: Association between smoking and TG blood level

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  Discussion Top

The records of the 196 patients admitted for CHD in Taiping Hospital, Perak, Malaysia, were considered in this study. The main finding was that smoking play a key role in decreasing the level of HDL. In this study, 91% of smokers have the low level of HDL compared to only 81% of nonsmokers who suffered from CHD. The percentage of ex-smokers with decreased level of HDL was 89% (Chi-square test, P < 0.05). Female patients were seemed to be more sensitive to smoking in terms of reduced level of HDL. This study showed that 91% of women smokers had reduced level of HDL when compared to 86% of female ex-smokers and only 76% of female nonsmokers (Chi-square test, P < 0.05). This result is in agreement with the previous studies. [38],[39],[40],[41] HDL was absolutely and relatively more reduced in female smokers than in male smokers compared to nonsmokers of the same sex. [42],[43] A reduced HDL concentration in smokers may be related to sex hormone metabolism [44],[45],[46] but so far, the apparently greater reduction in women has been only little explored. [40] A possible cause of the sex difference is an interaction of some hormonal factors with the component of the inhaled smoke. [47] HDL has been claimed as a more important risk factor for CHD than total cholesterol, especially in women,. [48] while epidemiological studies disagree regarding the role of TGs. [49] TGs were a significant predictor univariate and in models that include total cholesterol but became nonsignificant in both sexes as soon as HDL were included. [42] There are studies that reported similar result [50],[51],[52],[53],[54] but there are exceptions too. [55]

In this study, there was no association observed in the level of TGs, LDL, and total cholesterol among smokers, ex-smokers, and nonsmokers. These might be because there are a lot of other factors that influence serum lipid profile that could not be assessed in this study.

  Conclusion Top

Among the CHD patients admitted to Taiping Hospital, Perak, Malaysia, the HDL level is more reduced in smokers compared to ex-smokers and nonsmokers. The study findings regarding female smokers were more prominent than female nonsmokers. It was also observed that the changes in the serum lipids tend to be high with the increase in duration and intensity of smoking.

The risk of the rise in serum cholesterol with an increase in LDL-C and decrease HDL-C assume a great significance since this has been the pattern associated with CHD. The squat level of HDL-C in cigarette smokers increases exposure of the vascular endothelium to impaired clearance of TG-rich lipoproteins perhaps provide a mechanism, and smoking itself predisposes to greater risk of developing atherosclerotic plaques and CHD. It is a retrospective cross-sectional hospital data-based study with its own limitation. Therefore, these findings need to be validated by conducting a well-designed prospective study to obtain better data and serve common people of Malaysia.


The authors are much grateful to the hospital staff who helped to extract the data. Moreover, researchers are heavily indebted to the Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kuala Lumpur, and other academic and nonacademic staff for their kind cooperation.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

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  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6]

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