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Tobacco Exposure Tied to Hypertension in Children

Findings based on study of more than 8,500 children ages 8 to 19 years

MONDAY, March 8, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Tobacco exposure is associated with elevated blood pressure in U.S. children and adolescents, according to a study published online Feb. 23 in JAMA Network Open.

Rebecca V. Levy, B.M., B.Ch., from Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues used data from the 2007 to 2016 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (including 8,520 children aged 8 to 19 years) to examine the association between tobacco exposure and elevated blood pressure in children.

The researchers found that participants with any tobacco smoke exposure were more likely than those without exposure to be older (mean age, 13.3 versus 12.8 years), male (53 versus 49 percent), and non-Hispanic Black (19 versus 10 percent). In an adjusted analysis, the odds of having elevated blood pressure were higher with any tobacco exposure (adjusted odds ratio, 1.31), with comparable results seen across subgroups. These results remained significant in multiple sensitivity analyses.

“Thus, tobacco exposure, which is harmful to many body systems, may also be harmful to the cardiovascular system in children and adolescents,” the authors write.

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