Secondhand smoke exposure and liver disease..

September 11, 2009 - A team of scientists at the University of California, Riverside has found that even second-hand tobacco smoke (SHS, environmental tobacco smoke, ETS, passive, involuntary, sidestream) exposure can result in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a common disease and rising cause of chronic liver injury in which fat accumulates in the liver of people who drink little or no alcohol.

PAPER: Second-hand smoke stimulates lipid accumulation in the liver by modulating AMPK and SREBP-1, Hongwei Yuan, John Y.-J. Shyy, Manuela Martins-Green, Journal of Hepatology September 2009 (Vol. 51, Issue 3, Pages 430-432), ABSTRACT...

The researchers found fat accumulated in liver cells of mice exposed to second-hand cigarette smoke for a year in the lab. Such fat buildup is a sign of NAFLD, leading eventually to liver dysfunction.

The study emphasizes that discouraging cigarette smoking helps prevent not only cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease and cancer, but now also liver disease.

Second-hand smoke is a major toxicant that affects children, the elderly and nonsmokers living in the household of adults who smoke. Many state and local governments have passed laws prohibiting smoking in public facilities. Diseases associated with second-hand smoking include cancer, heart disease, atherosclerosis, pneumonia, bronchitis and severe asthma.

"The debate is over. The science is clear," the former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona, MD, told reporters in June 2006. "There is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure.."

Reference: Second-Hand Smoking Results in Liver Disease, Study Finds, Univeristy of California at Riverside Newsroom, 9/10/2009.