While a number of studies have linked passive smoking to increased blood pressure among adults, a new research carried out by the University of Minnesota has suggested that the same could be true even among children.
The researchers observed the effect of passive smoking in more than 6,400 boys between 8 to 17 years of age and found that it increased the systolic blood pressure by an average rate of 1 percent (1.6 mmHg) among those who were exposed to passive smoking compared to those who were not.
While the increase may seem small, the researchers said that it could lead to a number of health related problems among the kids later in their lives, increasing the risk of diseases such as hypertension, respiratory problems and heart diseases.
Lead researcher Jill Baumgartner said that the increase in blood pressure was noticed only among boys and additional research should be carried out to find out why it did not affect the girls.
"These findings support several previous studies suggesting that something about female gender may provide protection from harmful vascular changes due to secondhand smoke exposure. An important next step is to understand why", she said.