Children exposed to parental smoking are likely to develop heart disease in adulthood

A new study has confirmed the speculations that kids whose parents smoke a lot are likely to have health problems later in life. Researchers warned the parents addicted to smoking and said that their children are likely to develop heart disease (plaque) in adulthood as they are exposed to passive smoking.

The study was conducted over children exposed to parental smoking in Finland from 1980 to 1983. Scientists observed these participants for several years and took carotid ultrasound data in adulthood in 2011 and 2007. Scientists also measured their blood cotinine levels (a biomarker for passive smoke exposure) from samples collected back in 1980 with samples collected in 2007 (adulthood).

According to the study published in the journal Circulation, researchers found that percent of children with non-detectable cotinine levels were lowest among households where both the parents smoked (43 percent), 62 percent children had nondetectable cotinine levels where only one parent smoked while children whose neither of the parent smoked had highest levels of non-detectable cotinine (83 percent).

In addition, the risk of developing carotid plaque in adulthood nearly doubled (1.7 times) regardless of the fact whether one parent smoked or both the parents smoked when compared to the children whose parent didn’t smoke at all.

It was also found that parents who smoked in the room increased the risk for their kids when compared to the parents who smoked outdoors. Researchers say that room is continuously occupied with the smoke when parents do indoor smoking and in such cases kids are exposed to passive smoking even more and also they are denied of any fresh air.

Lead author of the study Costan Magnussen from Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania in Australia said that the passive smoking affects the health in long-term and mostly targets cardiovascular diseases. The chances of developing heart diseases increased with the increased exposure. To help their children, parents can try to quit smoking or might reduce exposure to passive smoke that might reduce some of the potential long-term risks. However, quitting smoking is the by far the best and safest option, said Magnussen.

Moreover, previously a study revealed that passive smokers inhale 80 percent of the smoke while sitting next to smokers. Thus, they are nearly equally likely to suffer from adverse effects of smoking as regular smokers do.

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