January 11, 2011 - Hypertension is the leading risk factor for cardiovascular. Blood pressure (BP) and an array of potential anthropometric, prenatal, environmental, and familial risk factors for high blood pressure, including parental smoking habits, were determined as part of a screening project in 4236 preschool children (age 5.7±0.4 years). Smoking was reported by 28.5% of fathers and 20.7% of mothers, and by both parents 11.9%. Children who had a parent who was a smoker were significantly more likely to have higher systolic blood pressure, even after adjusting for risk factors such as body mass index, parental hypertension, and birth weight.
PAPER: Determinants of Blood Pressure in Preschool Children The Role of Parental Smoking, Giacomo D. Simonetti, MD (firstname.lastname@example.org), Rainer Schwertz, MD; Martin Klett, MD; Georg F. Hoffmann, MD; Franz Schaefer, MD Elke Wühl, MD, Circulation - published online on January 10, 2011, ABSTRACT..
Although the effects of active and passive tobacco exposure on cardiovascular functions in adults are well known and have been widely demonstrated, the effects of passive tobacco smoke exposure on childhood blood pressure have not been reported previously.
The findings of this study underscore the potential benefits of implementing strictly smoke-free environments, particularly at home. This may help preserve cardiovascular health in both adults and children, the researchers said.
The potential benefits of a smoke-free environment is supported by several lines of reasoning, including the fact that smoke-free environments have been shown to decrease cardiovascular mortality in nonsmokers, that childhood blood pressure consistently tracks into adult life, and that children whose parents smoke are more likely to become smokers themselves.
Reference: Effects of Passive Tobacco Smoke on BP Evident Even in Preschoolers by SHARON WORCESTER, Internal Medicine News Digital Network, 1/10/2011.