Wednesday, June 13, 2007

No Surprise, but second-hand smoke damages Endothelial function in Children

I am not surprised by this statement recently disclosed in Heartwire, a professional service of medscape. This conclusion was based on the results from a study in Finland looking at the correlation between a metabolite of nicotine found in the urine of children and the ability of the same children's endothelial cells to dilate. It is no surprise that those children with a higher concentration of the urinary metabolite, had poorer functioning endothelial cells. What is significant, is that they began to notice these effects in children as young as 8 years old (the age when they first started to test), with levels indicating that their overall exposure to smoke was minimal.

It doesn't take much to start our children off in the wrong direction. This study illustrates just how susceptible children are to influences both within and beyond our control. It is vital to do what we can to minimize the unnecessary exposure to toxins that will effect our children down the road. This requires a strong degree of awareness on the part of adults because as the study illustrated, we may not observe the subtle damage that is taking place until it is too late.

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