Secondhand Smoke Really Bad for Kids

Secondhand smoke is no joke, especially for kids. A new study claims even minor exposure can compromise a child’s cardiovascular system. Robert Preidt of HealthDay News reports:
Even minor exposure to secondhand smoke can harm the cardiovascular system of children, a new study concludes.

Finnish researchers used high-resolution ultrasound to check brachial artery (located in the arm) function of 402 children, age 11, who were divided into three groups based on their blood levels of cotinine, a biomarker for nicotine.

The three groups included: 229 children with no detectable levels of cotinine; 134 children with low blood levels of cotinine (between 0.2 and 1.6 nanograms per milliliter); and 39 with high blood levels of cotinine (more than 1.7 ng/mL).

The study found that children with the highest cotinine levels had significantly reduced brachial artery endothelial function -- a measure of arterial health. Endothelial dysfunction impairs blood vessels' ability to dilate.
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