Stories of Hope

Researching the effects water-pipe smoke on heart health

Cardiovascular disease continues to be the leading cause of death and disability in the world today. According to the World Heart Federation 17.5 million people globally die every year from cardiovascular disease and studies have identified it is a one of the primary reasons of death in the UAE, with 30% of fatalities attributed to the disease.

Professor Abderrahim Nemmar from United Arab Emirates University lead an experimental investigation on water-pipe smoke (Shisha) induced cardiovascular pathophysiologic effects and the influence of smoke exposure, flavourings and possible protective effect of Gum Arabic.

It is estimated that more than 100 million people world-wide use water-pipe smoking and is a major form of smoking in the Middle East. Despite its widespread use, only a few studies to date have documented the harmful cardiovascular consequences of water-pipe smoking. With such high consumption rates, experimental studies investigating the mechanisms underlying the cardiovascular effects of water-pipe smoke are much needed.

The team has demonstrated that exposure to water-pipe smoke increased blood pressure and thrombosis, and induced cardiac oxidative stress, DNA damage and fibrosis. The effects of occasional versus regular smoke and flavoring have not been studied before and this study assessed the possible palliative effects of a commonly used natural antioxidant agent, viz Gum Arabic on the cardiovascular effects of water-pipe smoke.

Researching the effects water-pipe smoke on heart health