Endocrine Effects of Tobacco Smoking

Konstantinos Tziomalos; Faidon Charsoulis


Clin Endocrinol. 2004;61(6) 

In This Article


In summary, an extensive review of the literature on endocrine disorders associated with tobacco smoking results in the accumulation of abundant data, which are nevertheless inconclusive and contradictory. The main reason for these discrepant reports is the substantial variation in the size and age of the population studied, as well as in the number and composition of smoked cigarettes per se. It should also be pointed out that an acute alteration in the circulating levels of a specific hormone after smoking does not necessarily result in clinically significant manifestations; moreover, the reproducibility of these alterations is often a controversial issue. After a critical overview of the available data, certain endocrine effects of tobacco smoking appear to be well documented; these include an increase in the risk of Graves' hyperthyroidism and particularly Graves' ophthalmopathy, an increase in the risk of osteoporosis, and finally, a negative impact on pregnancy outcome. It is also worth mentioning that smoking protects against the development of thyroid cancer and that smokers are leaner than nonsmokers; nevertheless, the multiple detrimental consequences of tobacco smoking obviously surmount these beneficial effects. Other minor endocrine disorders associated with tobacco smoking are shown in Table 1 .

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