Smoking parents might up risk of heart diseases in kids

Updated: Nov 15, 2010, 00:00 AM IST

Washington: Parents who smoke at home may place their children at risk for cardiovascular diseases, according to a new research.

Smoking parents can put children at risk of oxidative injury — possibly increasing their risk of cardiovascular disease, according to Austrian researchers.

Oxidative stress leads to inflammation and an increased risk of vascular damage and narrowing of the arteries.

During cholesterol screening tests, the researchers found that children of smokers had higher levels of an oxidative stress marker than children of nonsmoking parents.

Children of smoking parents had 13.2 picograms/milliliter in plasma while children of nonsmoking parents had 7.1 pg/ml.

When parents quit, the levels of the marker significantly dropped to that of children of nonsmokers after three months.

The positive effect was more pronounced when mothers rather than fathers quit smoking and most effective when both parents quit smoking. The effect was not different in girls or boys.