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