Passive smoking causes irreversible damage to kids' arteries, increases risk of heart attack, stroke
Published on Mar 5, 2014 8:37 AM
LONDON (Reuters) - Exposure to second-hand smoke in childhood causes irreversible damage to children's arteries - increasing their risk of heart attacks or strokes when they grow up, according to a large international study published on Wednesday.
The research, which lends weight to campaigns for smoking to be banned in private cars and homes, found passive smoking leads to a thickening of children's artery walls, adding some 3.3 years to the age of blood vessels by adulthood.
"Exposure to passive smoke in childhood causes direct and irreversible damage to the structure of the arteries," said Dr Seana Gall, a researcher in cardiovascular epidemiology who led the study at the University of Tasmania.
She said parents, or even those thinking about becoming parents, should quit smoking - both to aid their own health and protect the future health of their children.
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