Passive smoking in youth raises risk of heart attack
The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 21, 2005
SAITAMA—A recent study has shown that children exposed to secondhand smoke at
home have lower levels of beneficial cholesterol that protects against arterial sclerosis,
and therefore, have a higher risk of experiencing a heart attack later in life.
The passive inhalation of tobacco smoke during childhood also can increase the risk of
heart attacks in adulthood, according to the study, which was conducted by a group of
doctors in Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture, headed by Toshihiro Ino, a specialist in
The results of the study, which also shows the smoking habits of mothers generally has
about twice the impact of those of the father—due to the amount of time spent in direct
contact with a child—were to be presented at a meeting of the Japanese Society of
Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery that began in Yokohama on Saturday.
For the study, medical checks for lifestylerelated diseases were conducted on fourth
graders. Each child who said their parents smoked underwent a urinalysis to check the
level of nicotine metabolism matter in their blood streams.
The results showed 60 percent of the children who said both parents smoked and 30
percent of those who said one parent smoked tested positive for the matter.
The children with more nicotine in their urine had lower highdensity lipoprotein
(HDL) cholesterol, or “good cholesterol”—up to 10 percent less than other children
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