Navigation Links
Parent Smoking During Pregnancy Raises Kids' Heart Risks

More carotid artery thickening in these young adults points to danger, study finds

THURSDAY, Nov. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Damage to the arteries of children of smokers can be detected in the early decades of their lives, a new Dutch study finds.

"Smoking in families is harmful for children, including their cardiovascular system, as was found in many other studies," said research leader Dr. Cuno S.P.M. Uiterwaal, an associate professor of clinical epidemiology at the University Medical Center in Utrecht. "This study adds that tobacco smoke exposure may have such effects already in very early life."

Uiterwaal and his colleagues reported the finding in the December issue of Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology that they used ultrasound to measure the thickness of the walls of carotid arteries, the major blood vessels to the brain, in 732 young adults, average age 28. Records showed that 29 percent of the mothers and more than 60 percent of the fathers smoked during the pregnancies.

The inner lining of the carotid arteries was thicker for the young adults who had both parents smoking during pregnancy, a sign of potential danger in the years ahead. The thickening was strongest for maternal smoking.

"We believe that our findings with regard to fetal exposure may serve as a first signal which will have to be confirmed by other research in this area," Uiterwaal said.

It has long been known that "exposure to tobacco smoke of pregnant women is bad for many reasons, such as low birth weight and increased risk for childhood respiratory disease," he said. "Our study now adds that it may also already harm the cardiovascular system of the unborn child."

The study does need confirmation, Uiterwaal said. "We are indeed trying to do a similar study in healthy young children, 5-year-olds, as that would eliminate many of the possibly confounding influences in later childhood," he said. "We are currently measuring arterial wall linings of these children of whom we know the gestational history."

A weakness of the current study is that it relied on the memories of participants about smoking histories, said Dr. Michael Katz, senior vice president for research and global programs at the March of Dimes Foundation.

And yet, Katz said, "the claim they make is probably valid, because it jibes with many previous studies showing the harmful effects of smoking during pregnancy, by anyone in the household."

"Any smoke in the environment is bad," Katz said. He cited a previous study that showed an increased risk of cleft palate among children of smokers, even if the mothers themselves did not smoke. "It's not by any mysterious way, just by inhaling," Katz said. "That is why smoke-free environments are desirable."

There was one pleasant surprise in doing a study of smoking during pregnancy in the Netherlands, Uiterwaal said. "The smoking rate of mothers in pregnancy of 29 percent in the early 1970s that we found in the present study has dropped to some 4 to 5 percent to date in the Netherlands," he said. "A very fortunate drop from a public health perspective, but it will make this issue more difficult to study at present."

Current estimates are that about 10 percent of American women smoke during pregnancy.

More information

Facts about the incidence and damage due to smoking during pregnancy are available from the March of Dimes Foundation.

SOURCES: Cuno S.P.M. Uiterwaal, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor, clinical epidemiology, University Medical Center, Utrecht, the Netherlands; Michael Katz, M.D., senior vice president, research and global programs, March of Dimes Foundation, White Plains, N.Y.; December 2008, Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. New Site Offers Hope and Healing to Parents of Difficult Children During Holiday Season & Beyond
2. Pennsylvania Health Department Reminds Parents to Immunize Their Children Against Pertussis
3. People Caring for Aging Parents Can Win $2,000 of Free Housecleaning
4. Boomers Play an Active Role with Parent's Medication Decisions
5. Schiff(R) Nutrition International Declares November Give Thanks for Grandparents Month
6. Most Parents Dont Overreact to Child Gene Tests
7. Parenting Course at The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential Gives Parents the Tools to Help their Special Needs Kids Have a Fighting Chance
8. Kids With Parent in War Zone Face Behavior Risks
9. Study finds fears of HIV transmission in families with infected parent
10. Grandparent Caregivers Cut Kids Injury Risk in Half
11. Parents Welcome Discussing Drinking Habits With Their Child's Doctor
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Parent Smoking During Pregnancy Raises Kids' Heart Risks
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating in ... ways they remain in the eye of the beholder, according to experts who offered ... The American Journal of Managed Care. For the full issue, click here . ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is ... a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading the ... one size fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible lice infestation, as reported by ... lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human host, and to infest common ... the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. , As lice are a ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method ... —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may ... to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To ... for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 Research ... "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart Skin, Structural Health ... Structural electronics involves electronic and/or electrical ... structures, replacing dumb structures such as vehicle bodies ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... PUNE, India , June 24, 2016 ... "Pen Needles Market by Type (Standard Pen Needles, Safety ... 12mm), Therapy (Insulin, GLP-1, Growth Hormone), Mode of Purchase ... published by MarketsandMarkets, This report studies the market for ... is expected to reach USD 2.81 Billion by 2021 ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... report to their offering. ... failure, it replaces the function of kidneys by removing the ... the treatment helps to keep the patient body,s electrolytes such ... Increasing number of ESRD patients & substantial healthcare expenditure on ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: