|smoking is bad for me?
Apr 23, 2007
What is the effect of smoking on CD count, cd%? If smoking does have an effect, to what magnitude? Lets say a a pack a day, with a cd% of 50.
| Response from Dr. Pierone
Smoking cigarettes stimulates immune system activation which hastens the loss of CD4+ lymphocytes. The effect is variable and depends on many factors including genetic susceptibility. But rather than focus on CD4+ lymphocyte counts as surrogate markers it makes more sense to go right to outcome data. A recent VA study showed that HIV infected smokers have decreased quality of life, more respiratory infections, greater risk of chronic lung disease and double the risk of death.
But for fair balance, these are just numbers and don't reflect individual factors. Take my uncle Joe for example. He is one tough guy. He survived multiple wounds from a German machine gun in WWII and has been smoking 3 packs of unfiltered Camels for over 50 years. He looks kind of grey, but not too bad considering the duration of exposure. But I have to say he did project a tough and daring image when I was a kid. Although I tried the unfiltered Camels to be as tough and cool as him, I could never quite pull it off. The little bits of tobacco kept falling out of the end of the cigarette into my mouth and sticking on my lips, yuck, not cool at all.
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