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Increased secondhand smoke exposure linked to elevated BP in children, adolescents

Elaine Soliven
28 May 2019

Increased exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke (SHS) was significantly associated with an elevated blood pressure (BP) in children and adolescents, according to a study presented at PAS* 2019 Meeting.

“Nearly 24 million children and adolescents are exposed to SHS in the US. SHS detrimentally affects cardiovascular function; however, few studies have examined the effects of SHS on BP in children and adolescents,” said the researchers.

Researchers gathered data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2007 and 2012 and analysed children and adolescents (mean age 12.6 years, 51 percent boys), of whom 13.7 percent lived in homes with smokers. SHS biomarkers were used to measure the level of SHS exposure. BP levels were measured according to the 2017 guidelines. [PAS 2019, abstract 3540.5]

Mean NNAL and serum cotinine concentrations, two biomarkers of tobacco smoke exposure, were 1.60 pg/mL (interquartile range [IQR], 0.4–4.19 pg/mL) and 0.06 ng/mL (IQR, 0.01–0.16 ng/mL), respectively.

After adjusting for race/ethnicity, family poverty to income ratio, waist circumference, cadmium, lead, first albumin creatinine ratio, and urinary creatinine, an increased level of NNAL concentration was associated with elevated diastolic BP levels in boys and systolic BP levels in girls.

Also, boys who had an increased level of serum cotinine concentration were more likely to develop an elevated systolic BP, but not in girls.

In another study, an increased serum cotinine level was observed among children who reported SHS exposure at home compared with those who were not exposed (median, 3.44 ng/mL, IQR 1.0–10.83 vs 0.13, 95 percent confidence interval, 0.03–0.67; p<0.01), indicating that serum cotinine level correlates with SHS exposure. [PAS 2019, abstract 1820.163]

“Our findings provide the first characterization of the relationship between a major tobacco-specific metabolite, NNAL, and diastolic BP and systolic BP percentiles in a nationally representative population of US children [and adolescents],” the researchers noted.

 

*PAS: Pediatric Academic Societies

**NNAL: 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol

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