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Passive smoking thickens children's arteries

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Parents who smoke around their children could be damaging their offsprings’ arteries from a young age, research has suggested.

A study by Finnish scientists found evidence of artery wall thickening and impaired functioning in 13-year-olds who had high levels of “passive smoking” exposure, indicating that the walls of carotid arteries carrying blood to the brain were 7% thicker among those inhaling the most second-hand tobacco smoke.

The study, which tracked 494 subjects recruited as infants and used ultrasound equipment to measure the impact, also linked inhaling smoke with higher levels of a biological marker for “bad” cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein.

Study leader Dr Katariina Kallio, from the University of Turku in Finland, said: “Even a little exposure to tobacco smoke may be harmful for blood vessels. We need to provide children with a smoke-free environment.”

The study was published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • I think it is terrible that any parent could have such disregard for their childs/childrens health, a decade ago, parents may have been uneducated with regard to second hand smoke, but there is no excuse now, the dangers are plastered all over tobacco products!
    Children should be provided with a smoke free environment, as they should be provided with a healthy balanced diet, i understand that different social classes have affordability issues, but surly every parent should place their childrens health and well being before anything else. It is not hard to buget well and purchase value fruits and veg, nor is it hard to step outside a few times a day!!!

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