in

Smoking Decreases Ability to Recover from Fractures

Broken Arm in CastSmoking is a well-known risk for many health problems such as lung disease, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Now new research from the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom reveals that bone healing cells in non-smokers are of a superior quality, more active and quicker at dividing than the same cells in smokers, explaining the faster healing time after fractures in non-smokers compared to smokers.

To study the effects of smoking on fracture recovery, the researchers gathered and analyzed blood from the area of the fracture from 50 fracture patients. The researchers identified the differences in the quantity and quality of stem cells and molecules involved in bone regeneration following fracture.

Explains Professor Mohammad Maqsood, Trauma and Orthopaedic Consultant at Lincoln County Hospital:

“We set up the research looking at the factors which affect the healing process of fractures in 2007, which involved collecting the blood from consenting patients, both smokers and non-smokers, who have suffered tibial fractures and had been admitted to Lincoln County Hospital for surgery. We also set up a ‘smoking machine’ which simulates smoking 20 cigarettes per day to study the effects of smoking on the blood in a controlled environment.”

According to the study, the bone healing cells in non-smokers are of a superior quality, more active, and quicker at dividing than the same cells in smokers. Better, more active, and faster cells contribute to a faster healing process among non-smokers.

States PhD researcher Andrew Sloan from the University of Lincoln:

“I was particularly interested in how stem cells can be extracted and isolated from human fracture tissue. I felt a real sense of achievement when we were able to do this, as only one group in the world had written about this methodology previously. After growing and harvesting the stem cells from the tissue, we were able to closely analyse and monitor how cigarette smoking had a detrimental impact on stem cell growth and development, giving rise to abnormal bone repair. We also showed how the molecules that mediate certain cellular processes were being hampered by the toxic effects of the tobacco smoke and its constituent components.”

Additional research is now needed to determine whether and how the adverse effect of smoking at cellular and molecular level can be reversed.

References

Research shows smoking harms your chances of recovering from fractures: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/273949.php
Research shows smoking harms your chances of recovering from fractures: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-03-chances-recovering-fractures.html

Image Credits

Broken Arm in Cast: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/1219097

Bacteria Texture

Gut Microbes May Influence Autoimmune Processes in Type 1 Diabetes

The Duck and the Microfiche

The Duck and the Microfiche: The Rubber Ducky Project Week 11