Thursday, March 15, 2007

Pregnant Smoking Moms Raise Kids' Risk of Heart Attack

Something for all you moms to be out there to think about. Personally I think it is a no brainer. Stop smoking while pregnant and don't smoke around your children if you want to have healthy children. The effects of smoking your unborn child puts their future health and happiness at risk.


Yours in Health and Fitness,

Kevin


Pregnant Smoking Moms Raise Kids' Risk of Heart Attack


(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Women who smoke while they're pregnant may be doing permanent damage to their children's arteries, putting them at increased risk for heart attacks and stroke.

Researchers from the Netherlands found young adults whose mothers smoked during their pregnancies ended up with thicker carotid arteries than those born to nonsmoking mothers. The carotid artery is located in the neck and is considered a primary measure of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.

Active smoking by mothers while pregnant was the most important factor in determining the offspring's carotid artery thickness. Prenatal exposure to smoke from other sources, such as a father, led to thicker carotid arteries as well.

"Our findings suggest that both smoking by mothers themselves in pregnancy and exposure to passive smoking are important," reports study author Cuno S. Uiterwaal, M.D., Ph.D., lead researcher and associate professor of clinical epidemiology at the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands. "More exposure leads to more vascular damage in the offspring."

The research involved around 730 people who were born between 1970 and 1973, then tested for carotid artery thickness in 1999-2000. About 200 of the mothers in the study smoked while they were pregnant. Initial results showed children of smokers had carotid arteries that were 13.4 micrometers thicker than those found in children of nonsmokers. After adjusting the findings to take other factors that could have influenced carotid artery thickness into account, such as current smoking and body mass index, the young adults exposed to smoke while in the womb still had arteries that were 9.4 micrometers thicker.

SOURCE: American Heart Association's 47th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 28-Mar. 3, 2007

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: http://www.ivanhoe.com/newsaler

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