Finnish Research study has found that exposure even a small amount of smoke found in the environment can have a serious and harmful impact on the cardiovascular system of a healthy school child. Even a small quantity of tobacco smoke can harm the child's arteries.
Instead of relying on the smoking habits of the parents and nears one the 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.
Based on the results the children were then divided into three groups based based on their cotinine concentrations: 229 children in the non-detectable cotinine group; 134 children in the low-cotinine group; 39 children in the high-cotinine group.
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.
Even modest exposure to tobacco smoke alters endothelial function in children, and may impact early development of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)," study lead author Dr. Katariina Kallio, a research fellow at the Research Centre of Applied and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Turku, said in a prepared statement. Endothelial dysfunction relative to (secondhand smoke) may be only partially reversible after cessation to the exposure, suggesting the importance of implementing smoke-free environments for children at home and in public places," Kallio said.
The experts believe that this being the case the adults working in a smoke filled environment for longer periods of the days is at much greater risks. This calls in for stricter laws to protect the citizens against second hand smoke.