Montefiore in the News
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Montefiore in the News

February 25, 2021

Of the 8,520 children who were surveyed in a new study, 43% were exposed to tobacco smoke.

(CNN)Children who are exposed to tobacco smoke have a greater chance of having high blood pressure, a new study has found.

Researchers found 6% of children who were exposed to tobacco smoke had high blood pressure compared to 4% in children who weren't exposed, according to a study published Tuesday in JAMA Network Open.

The study defined tobacco exposure as a child reporting smoking, living with a smoker or having serum cotinine levels, which measures recent exposure to nicotine, greater than 0.05 micrograms per liter.

Data was gathered from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2007 to 2016. Of the 8,520 children ages 8 to 19 who were surveyed, 3,690, or 43%, had been exposed to tobacco smoke.

The high percentage of children exposed is concerning, said Dr. Karen Wilson, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics tobacco consortium, who was not involved in the study.

"We think that tobacco smoking is going down when in fact, the rate of adult smokers is decreasing, but children are still likely to be exposed," said Wilson, who is also the Debra and Leon Black chief of the division of general pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital.