In a recent study in Australia, researchers found a disturbing relationship between smoking and heart disease. This may be a common fact with thousands of documents in support, but what makes the new study alarming is that smoking is now linked to why children develop serious heart problems even before they reach ten years old.
It was found that smoking decreases the amount of “good cholesterol” in the body making babies born to smoking mothers vulnerable to heart attack or stroke.
Although it isn’t clear how smoking lowers high-density lipoprotein or HDL in the body during pregnancy, data gathered showed that children whose mothers smoked while pregnant had lower levels of HDL compared to those who were not exposed to cigarette smoking by their mothers.
The study, which was published in the June 21 online issue of the European Heart Journal, clearly suggests that exposure to tobacco products while pregnant could result to consequences not only for the mother but to the unborn child as well. Professor of Cardiology at the University of Sydney Dr. David Celermajer says that “maternal smoking ‘imprints’ an unhealthy set of characteristics on children while they are developing in the womb, which may well predispose them to later heart attack and stroke. This imprinting seems to last for at least eight years and probably a lot longer.”
This is why there is a need for children born to smoking mothers to be monitored and regularly checked as they can easily be susceptible to coronary risk factors, like high blood pressure and increased levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) which is not good for the body.