Passive Smokers Prone to Hypertension

"Children who are classified as passive smokers, especially males, will be more susceptible to high blood pressure than girls," said researchers in a study reported by the Daily Mail.

Passive smoker

In the first study, researchers found that boys who breathe secondhand smoke at home may experience high blood pressure increased significantly. However, in girls, passive smoking appears to be associated with a decrease in blood pressure.

Research involving more than 6,400 children showed that boys aged 8-17 years who are exposed to tobacco smoke had lower blood pressure significantly higher than those who do not inhale smoke.

Smoke exposure was associated with systolic blood pressure, which is associated with surges of blood each time the heart contracts.

U.S. researcher Dr. Jill Baumgartner, of the University of Minnesota, said the finding supports some previous research that suggests that something about the female gender can provide protection from harmful vascular changes due to exposure to secondhand smoke.

While the blood pressure of children who live with smokers increased by 1.6 millimeters of mercury in the boy, but lowered to 1.8 millimeters in girls.

"While the increase in blood pressure were observed among boys in our study may not be clinically meaningful for an individual child, they have major implications for the population," said Dr Baumgartner.

Dr. Baumgartner added, the relationship between second-hand smoke exposure and blood pressure observed in our study provides further incentive for the government to support the smoking ban and other laws that protect children from secondhand smoke.

Meanwhile, the findings presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in Denver, Colorado, U.S. states, researchers analyzed health data from four surveys conducted between 1999 and 2006 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.