Passive smoking by both parents is found to have serious effects on their children’s health. Researchers say it can cause premature ageing of arteries by 3 years or more.
As a result, blood vessel walls are thickened, which is less efficient at taking care of itself, including not being so good at stopping fatty deposits or atherosclerotic plaques from sticking to artery walls and narrowing them, so they eventually get blocked and cause a heart attack or a stroke.
The research was completed in Finland and Australia. It cannot disregard other possibly contributory variables completely. Still, researchers point to the lasting damage caused by passive smoking.
The study did a survey on nearly 2,000 children in the age group of 3-18. Results on examining the effects of smoking were published in the European Heart Journal.
The observations and examinations done on children whose parents both smoked, revealed changes in the arterial wall tissues that runs up the neck to the head.
The researchers pointed out the fact that changes were significant and detectable some 20 years. Dr. Seana Gall, from the University of Tasmania, who led the study said that direct and irreversible damages to the arterial structure follow passive smoking. She added: “Parents, or even those thinking about becoming parents, should quit smoking. This will not only restore their own health but also protect the health of their children into the future.”