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Blood cells and alcohol consumption with special reference to smoking habits
  1. E. Eschwege1,
  2. L. Papoz,
  3. J. Lellouch,
  4. J. R. Claude,
  5. J. Cubeau,
  6. G. Pequignot,
  7. J. L. Richard,
  8. D. Schwartz
  1. Groupe d'Étude sur l'Epidémiologie de l'Athérosclérose 2 (GREA), 27 rue Lacordaire, 75015 Paris
  2. INSERM, Division Médico-Sociale, Section Nutrition, 44 Chemin de Ronde, 78110 le Vesinet, France


    In the course of the Paris study on risk factors of cardiovascular disease in a large professional group, 7710 active and apparently healthy men aged between 48 and 54 were examined. This study measured the relationship between clinical abnormalities suggesting alcoholic liver disease (ALD) and the following blood parameters: white (WBC) and red (RBC) blood cell counts, haematocrit (H), and mean corpuscular volume (MCV), the former computed as H/RBC ratio. A subsequent analysis was performed on a random sample of 485 subjects without ALD who were questioned on their daily average alcohol consumption. Each subject was classified as `smoker' or `non-smoker' according to his daily tobacco consumption for the last five years. Analysis of the data confirmed that smoking and alcohol were related to the blood parameters; but, according to smoking habit, different relationships between alcohol consumption (or ALD) and MCV, RBC, or WBC counts were found: for smokers, RBC count significantly decreased and MCV increased with alcohol consumption (or ALD); for non-smokers, WBC count significantly increased with alcohol consumption (or ALD). So, it would be of interest to consider the relation between alcohol and tobacco in interpreting possible changes in blood parameters and in formulating hypotheses on the mechanisms of their specific action.

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    • 1 INSERM, Unité de Recherches Statistiques, 16 bis avenue Paul Vaillant Couturier, 94800 Villejuif, France.

    • 2 With the assistance of the Prefecture de Paris (Direction Générale de l'Action Sanitaire et Sociale, Service de Dépistage Systématique de la Tuberculose et des Affections Cardio-vasculaires), and of INSERM (Division de la Recherche Medico-Sociale, Section de Cardiologie; Unité de Recherches Statistiques et Centre National de Calcul), and the help of the Ministère de la Santé.