Secondhand smoke causes cardiovascular damage in kids

March 14, 2008 2:26:02 PM PDT
Secondhand smoke causes signs of cardiovascular damage in children, especially in toddlers, according to a new study at the American Heart Association's meeting in Colorado Springs.

The findings focused on children from 2 to 14 years old. It showed that environmental tobacco exposure, or second hand smoke, caused increased markers of inflammation and signs of vascular injury. Experts say that suggests an increased risk of heart disease.

Children in the youngest age group had almost six times the average nicotine levels than older children did. Scientists say that's because they breathe more rapidly so they inhale more.