'Smoking at Home Will Damage Kids' Arteries' - The New Indian Express

'Smoking at Home Will Damage Kids' Arteries'

Published: 06th March 2014 08:23 AM

Last Updated: 06th March 2014 08:23 AM

Children who grow up in a house with smokers will have an increased risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems  later in life even if they don’t smoke themselves, says a new international study.

Doctors in the country agree and say that parents must stop smoking or at least refrain from smoking in areas where their children may be exposed to passive smoke.

The study, published on Tuesday in the European Heart Journal, covered around 3,700 participants in Finland and Australia.

The researchers said that the child’s vascular health might be affected up to 25 years later leading to complications like arterial stiffness and thickening. The findings show that children exposed to second hand smoke will have a vascular age 3.3 years more than those spared of passive smoking.

The researchers said the effects of inhaling passive smoke are “irreversible”.

“Passive smoke reduces the fraction of high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in the blood. Other studies have also shown that the ability of blood vessels to dilate is also diminished,” said Dr K Srinath Reddy, cardiologist and president, Public Health Foundation of India.

HDL cholesterol, termed the “good cholesterol”, travels through the bloodstream and removes the “bad cholesterol” or low density lipoprotein. It also maintains the inner walls of blood vessels.

The problems might not just be restricted to the heart and arteries. Dr Padma Sundaram of Manipal Hospital says the child’s respiratory system is also affected by tobacco smoke.

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