Association between cotinine-verified smoking status and hypertension in 167,868 Korean adults

<p><b>Purpose:</b> Previous studies showed inconsistent results concerning the relationship between chronic smoking and blood pressure. Most of the studies involved self-reported smoking status. This study was performed to evaluate the association of urinary cotinine or self-reported smoking status with hypertension and blood pressure in Korean adults.</p> <p><b>Materials and methods:</b> Among individuals enrolled in the Kangbuk Samsung Health Study and Kangbuk Samsung Cohort Study, 167,868 participants (men, 55.7%; age, 37.5 ± 6.9 years) between 2011 and 2013 who had urinary cotinine measurements were included. Individuals with urinary cotinine levels ≥50 ng/mL were defined as cotinine-verified current smokers.</p> <p><b>Results:</b> The prevalence of hypertension and cotinine-verified current smokers in the overall population was 6.8% and 22.7%, respectively (10.0% in men and 2.8% in women for hypertension: 37.7% in men and 3.9% in women for cotinine-verified current smokers). In a multivariate regression analysis adjusted for age, sex, body mass index, waist circumference, alcohol drinking, vigorous exercise, and diabetes, cotinine-verified current smoking was associated with lower prevalence of hypertension compared with cotinine-verified never smoking (OR[95% CI], 0.79 [0.75, 0.84]). Log-transformed cotinine levels and unobserved smoking were negatively associated with hypertension, respectively (0.96 [0.96, 0.97] and 0.55 [0.39, 0.79]). In a multivariate linear regression analysis, the cotinine-verified current smoking was inversely associated with systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP) (regression coefficient[95% CI], −1.23[−1.39, −1.07] for systolic BP and −0.71 [−0.84, −0.58] for diastolic BP). In subgroup analyses according to sex, the inverse associations between cotinine-verified current smoking and hypertension were observed only in men.</p> <p><b>Conclusions:</b> This large observational study showed that cotinine-verified current smoking and unobserved smoking were inversely associated with hypertension in Korean adults, especially only in men.</p>