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1 "Hemoglobins"
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Original Article
Cigarette Smoking and Serum Bilirubin Subtypes in Healthy Korean Men: The Korea Medical Institute Study
Jaeseong Jo, Heejin Kimm, Ji Eun Yun, Kyu Jang Lee, Sun Ha Jee
J Prev Med Public Health. 2012;45(2):105-112.   Published online March 31, 2012
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AbstractAbstract PDF

Cigarette smoking is a modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Bilirubin is a potent antioxidant and its concentration decreases in smokers. However, studies about the association between cigarette smoking and bilirubin are scarce and most are limited to total bilirubin. Additionally, bilirubin is highly related to hemoglobin. Therefore, this study evaluates the association between bilirubin subtypes and cigarette smoking in healthy Korean men independently of hemoglobin.


This study included 48 040 Korean men aged 30 to 87 years who visited the Korea Medical Institute for routine health examinations from January to December, 2007. The association of smoking with total, direct, and indirect bilirubin was assessed by logistic regression analysis taking into consideration differences in subjects and smoking characteristics.


Current smokers had lower bilirubin concentrations than never-smokers and ex-smokers. Smoking amount and duration were inversely significantly associated with total, direct, and indirect bilirubin. In a multivariable adjusted model, compared to never-smokers, the odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of current smokers with the highest number of pack-years were 1.7 (1.6 to 1.9) for total, 1.5 (1.4 to 1.6) for direct, and 1.7 (1.6 to 1.9) for indirect bilirubin. After further adjustment for hemoglobin, this association became stronger (OR [95% CI], 2.1 [1.9 to 2.2] for total; 1.9 [1.8 to 2.0] for direct; 2.0 [1.9 to 2.2] for indirect bilirubin).


In this study, bilirubin subtypes are inversely associated with smoking status, smoking amount, and smoking duration in healthy Korean men independently of hemoglobin. Further studies are needed to investigate this association in healthy Korean women.



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JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health