Toddlers, Obese Children More Vulnerable to Smoke

Toddlers, Obese Children More Vulnerable to Smoke

Reported November 30, 2009

(Ivanhoe Newswire) — Toddlers and obese children suffer more than just respiratory problems when exposed to secondhand smoke.

New American Heart Association research suggests in toddlers and obese children, secondhand smoke can cause changes similar to those associated with heart disease in adults.

“Our data support the view that cardiovascular effects of secondhand smoke in children are important, particularly for the very young and those who are obese,” John Anthony Bauer, Ph.D., senior co-author of the study, was quoted as saying.



Results of the study show a link between the amount of secondhand smoke exposure and a marker of vascular injury in toddlers, which was two times greater in obese toddlers. In addition, researchers found obese teenagers exposed to secondhand smoke had two times the evidence of vascular injury compared to teens of a normal weight range. Toddlers exposed to secondhand smoke showed a 30 percent reduction in the number of circulating vascular endothelial progenitor cells, which are involved in the repair and maintenance of a healthy blood vessel system.

Dr. Bauer and his team examined a cross-section of children at one point in time to determine if children exposed to secondhand smoke had measurable changes in markers for heart disease.

Source: Presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions, 2009