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The Effects of Cigarette Smoking on Serum Carboxyhemoglobin and Calcium Levels in Apparently Healthy Male Smokers in Benin City, Nigeria

Grace Umahi-Ottah, Babatunde Ishola Gabriel Adejumo, Elvis Osamede Godwins, Uchechukwu Dimkpa, Simon Uzor, Usman Itakure Abdulkadir, Oladimeji Nasiru Abdulrahman, Noreen Ebelechukwu Agbapuonwu, Onochie Anslem Ajugwo, Musiliu Adewale Oyenike

Abstract: The aim of this study is to determine the effects of cigarette smoking on carboxylhaemoglobin (COHb) and calcium levels in apparently healthy male cigarette smokers in Benin City, Nigeria. Thirty active cigarette smokers and thirty healthy, non-smokers within the same age range participated in this study. Serum COHb level was estimated using ELISA reagent from Calbiotech, USA, while calcium concentration was estimated spectrophotometrically with commercially purchased kit from Randox, UK. Results showed higher concentration of COHb but lower concentration of calcium level among the cigarette smokers when compared with the non-smokers. There were no statistically significant differences observed in COHb levels between smokers with regard to smoking duration (<5 yrs vs. ≥5 yrs; p = 0.893) and number of sticks of cigarette per day (<5 sticks/day vs. ≥5 sticks/day; p = 0.256). In contrast, significantly higher mean COHb level was found in subjects who smoked “always” compared with those who smoked “occasionally” (p = 0.04) and those who smoked “rarely” (p = 0.006). On the other hand, the smokers’ serum calcium level was not affected by smoking duration, frequency and number of sticks consumed. In conclusion, the present study confirms that cigarette smoking contributes to abnormally high COHb levels, which is associated with adverse health consequences from carbon-monoxide poisoning in the body. In addition, cigarette smoking may interfere with the mechanisms responsible for the absorption of calcium in the gastro-intestinal tract, thus leading to poor absorption as well as low levels of calcium in the body.
Keywords: Carboxyhaemoglobin / Calcium / Smokers / Nonsmokers / Benin City

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