Study: Secondhand smoke raises blood pressure in kids

File photo: Cigarette

January 11, 2011 2:11:10 PM PST
A new warning about second hand smoke and the harm it could have on children's hearts.

Doctors have long thought that high blood pressure -- known as hypertension -- is established early in life. Now a study in the journal "Circulation" finds secondhand smoke raises blood pressure in children as young as five or six.

Researchers screened more than 4200 children in Germany and found elevated blood pressure in those whose parents smoked. The increase was independent of other risk factors.

Researchers say a smoke free environment at home and in public places is important for heart health not just in adults but in children as well.