Parents’ Cigarette Smoke Harms Kids’ Hearts
Exposure to parental cigarette smoke can raise a child’s risk for heart disease in adulthood. In 1980, researchers measured smoke exposure in the blood and took heart images of 1,578 kids ages 3 to 18. They repeated those tests in 2001 or 2007. By adulthood, two-thirds of the kids had developed artery-clogging plaque, which increases the risk of stroke and other heart problems. Those with one or both parents who smoked had a 70 percent greater risk for plaque compared with kids of nonsmokers. Even when parents didn’t smoke near their kids, the risk was still 60 percent greater. In other words, stepping outside to smoke is better than doing it in front of your kids, but quitting is best.
Source: Circulation, published online March 23, 2015