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.