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A Child's Cardiovascular System May Be At Risk By Secondhand Smoke!

Posted Aug 26 2008 4:18pm

Parents may want to consider giving up their smoking habit as this will harm not only their own bodies but also their children's arteries.

A study, conducted by the Research Centre of Applied and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Turku in Finland, measured levels of continine in blood of 400 children between the ages of 8 and 11. Continine is a substance that the body produces when it breaks down nicotine in tobacco smoke. The participants were divided into 3 groups: low, high and non-detectable continine groups.

The researchers reported that exposure, even a little, to secondhand smoke at home or in public can actually harm the function of the cardiovascular system of the healthy children. This is because children who were in the high continine group were found to have a significantly lowered endothelial function. As a measure of arterial health, endothelial function is the blood coagulation and platelet adhesion in the blood vessels.

Parental smoking is also associated with an increased occurrence of asthma and respiratory illness in children. Statistics showed that asthmatic children who are exposed to cigarette smoke at home have a 4.5 times greater risk of respiratory-related absence from school, thus affecting their learning.

Besides cardiovascular disease and asthma, cancer, especially of the lung, is another disease that is strongly associated with secondhand smoke.
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