Posted on May 03, 2019, 8 p.m.
It may be best to stay away from that smoky car or room until it has cleared according to research presented at EuroHeartCare 2019.
"Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke regardless of whether the smoker is still in the room. Our study in non-smokers shows that the risk of high blood pressure is higher with longer duration of passive smoking, but even the lowest amounts are dangerous." says Professor Byung Jin Kim, of Sungkyunkwan University.
Passive smoking was linked to a 13% increased risk of hypertension; living with a smoker after the age of 20 was associated with a 15% increased risk; exposure to passive smoking for 10+ years was related to a 17% increased risk; and both men and women were affected equally.
Those with hypertension were 27.9% more likely to be exposed to secondhand smoke either at work or home than those with normal blood pressure; hypertension was 7.2% more common in those exposed to passive smoke compared to no exposure to passive smoke.
High blood pressure is a leading cause of premature death around the globe; research has suggested a link between passive smoking and hypertension in non-smokers, but most of those studies are small, restricted to women, and used self reported questionnaires.
This large study examined associations between secondhand smoke and hypertension in 131, 739 men and women with an average age of 35 years who never smoked, which was verified by analyzing urinary levels of cotinine.
“The results suggest that it is necessary to keep completely away from secondhand smoke, not just reduce exposure, to protect against hypertension. While efforts have been made around the world to minimise the dangers of passive smoking by expanding no smoking areas in public places, our study shows that more than one in five never-smokers are still exposed to secondhand smoke. Stricter smoking bans are needed, together with more help for smokers to kick the habit. Knowing that family members suffer should be extra motivation for smokers to quit," explains Professor Kim.
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