A new study finds children who are exposed to tobacco smoke have a greater chance of developing high blood pressure compared with their peers who aren’t exposed.
Researchers at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York, found 6% of children who were exposed to tobacco smoke had high blood pressure compared with 4% of children who weren’t exposed, CNN reports.
According to Dr. Karen Wilson, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics tobacco consortium, the findings are concerning. “We think that tobacco smoking is going down when in fact, the rate of adult smokers is decreasing, but children are still likely to be exposed,” said Wilson, who was not involved in the study.
Study author Dr. Rebecca Levy said high blood pressure can be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and other illnesses later in life. Being around smokers also has other negative consequences, she noted. Children who are around parents and other adults who smoke are more likely to start smoking themselves.