CHEST 2007: Pulse Co-Oximetry Identifies Smokers

It may be a cheap and easy way for physicians to determine patients' smoking status

TUESDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- A simple, non-invasive carbon monoxide test may help physicians easily identify patients who are smokers, or exposed to secondhand smoke, according to research presented this week at CHEST 2007, the 73rd annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians in Chicago.

Sridhar P. Reddy, M.D., of St. Clair Pulmonary and Critical Care in St. Clair, Mich., used a pulse co-oximeter to measure carboxyhemoglobin and methhemoglobin levels in 476 outpatients who also were surveyed about their tobacco exposure.

The researchers identified 98 smokers, 72 exposed to secondhand smoke and 306 non-smokers. They found that mean carboxyhemoglobin levels were significantly higher in smokers than in those exposed to secondhand smoke and non-smokers (5.9, 2.79 and 1.95, respectively). Mean methhemoglobin levels were significantly higher in smokers than in those exposed to secondhand smoke and non-smokers (0.66, 0.49 and 0.38, respectively), the investigators found.

"Detecting smoking status is key to effectively counseling patients regarding smoking cessation," the authors conclude. "Pulse co-oximetry can be effectively used in this situation. In addition, its use may be extrapolated to other public health settings such as adolescent smoking-cessation programs within school systems to help prevent smoking in vulnerable populations."

Abstract

Physician's Briefing