Saturday, April 25, 2015

Kids exposed to smoking may have higher risk of heart disease as adults

A new study has indicated that kids who are exposed to their parents' smoking may have a higher risk of developing heart disease in adulthood than those whose parents didn't smoke. According to the American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report, the percent of children with non-detectable cotinine levels were highest among households where neither parent smoked (84%), decreased in households where one parent smoked (62%) and were lowest among households where both parents smoked (43%).
 
Regardless of other factors, the risk of developing carotid plaque in adulthood was almost two times (1.7) higher in children exposed to one or two parental smokers compared to children of parents who did not smoke. Further, risk was elevated whether parents seemed to limit their children's exposure.
Costan Magnussen, Ph.D., study lead author and senior research fellow at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania in Australia, said that although they could not confirm that children with a detectable blood cotinine in their study was a result of passive smoke exposure directly from their parents, they knew that a child's primary source of passive smoke exposure occurs at home.

Researchers stressed that to provide the best long-term cardiovascular health for their offspring, parents should not smoke. However, for parents who are trying to quit smoking, they may be able to reduce some of the potential long-term risk for their children by actively reducing their children's exposure to secondhand smoke.