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Children of 13 show damage from passive smoking

Children who regularly inhale second-hand smoke can suffer signs of artery damage by the age of 13, a study has shown.

Researchers found significant evidence of artery wall thickening and poor functioning in youngsters with higher levels of “passive smoking” exposure.

Both are precursors of the artery hardening and narrowing which can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Greater exposure to tobacco smoke was also associated with higher levels of a biological marker for “bad” cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein (LDL).

The Special Turku Coronary Risk Factor Intervention Project (Strip), which began in 1990, followed 494 Finnish children recruited as infants by scientists investigating heart disease risk factors.

It showed that those with higher levels of exposure to second-hand smoke from the age of eight were significantly affected by the age of 13.

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