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Secondhand Smoke May Harm Heart Function
Date:5/14/2012

inner lining of the blood vessels was not working properly.

The investigators noted that the effect on the participants' cardiovascular function may have been greater if the study repeated short exposure rather than measure a one-time interval. Repeated exposure would also more closely resemble everyday life, they pointed out in the news release.

The researchers concluded that more comprehensive policies are needed to ban public smoking. They also suggested that doctors should talk to their patients about whether or not they live with a smoker or are occasionally around or near people who smoke.

"Smoking remains one of the most preventable risk factors for cardiovascular disease," Frey said. "We hope this study will reinforce to smokers the danger their habit has -- not only on their own heart health, but also to other people -- even if they move to the next room or smoke for short durations."

Although the study uncovered an association between secondhand smoke and blood vessel damage, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about secondhand smoke .

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: American College of Cardiology, news release, May 14, 2012


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