Secondhand smoke exposure (SHSE) is associated with increased risk of cerebrovascular accident (CVA). Abnormal P-wave axis (aPWA) is a marker for atriopathy that is also associated with CVA risk. We hypothesized that SHSE is associated with aPWA.
This analysis included 5986 non-smokers (age 61.7 ± 13.8 years, 45.8% men, 77.4% Whites) from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. SHSE was defined as serum cotinine ≥1 ng/ml aPWA was defined as any P-wave axis outside of 0-75°. Multivariable logistic regression was used to examine the association between SHSE and aPWA, overall and among subgroups stratified by demographics and comorbidities.
About 18.5% (n = 1109) of the participants had SHSE. aPWA was more prevalent among those with SHSE than those without (23.9% versus 19.8%, respectively, P-value = 0.003). In a model adjusted for sociodemographic and potential confounders, presence (versus absence) of SHSE was associated with increased odds of aPWA (odds ratio [95% confidence interval]: 1.28 [1.09, 1.50]; P-value = 0.003). This association was stronger among Whites vs non-Whites (interaction P-value = 0.04) and non-obese versus obese (interaction P-value = 0.04). Higher levels of serum cotinine were associated with increased odds of aPWA. Compared with serum cotinine level <1 ng/ml, serum cotinine ≥3 ng/ml and ≥6 ng/ml were associated with 35% (P-value = 0.002) and 38% (P-value = 0.002) increased odds of aPWA, respectively.
SHSE is associated with abnormal atrial conduction, measured as aPWA, with possible effect modification by ethnicity and obesity. These findings underscore the harmful effects of SHSE on cardiovascular health which merits a personalized risk assessment when counseling patients on SHSE.

Copyright © 2022 The Royal Society for Public Health. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.