• Does Tobacco Affect Nearby Children's Blood Pressure? - Chromatography Explores

Does Tobacco Affect Nearby Children's Blood Pressure? - Chromatography Explores

Mar 13 2021

Hypertension – or raised blood pressure – is a major health concern in the developed world. It affects some 46% of US adults and approximately one-third of UK adults may suffer from high blood pressure. It can often go unrecognised as the symptoms can be unnoticed. But it can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke if not treated. It also has major economic costs due to illness and treatment.

Paediatric hypertension has not been directly associated with cardiovascular disease and increased mortality, but there is a large body of evidence suggesting a link between paediatric hypertension and hypertension in adults. Consequently, childhood hypertension can be an important factor in the health of adults and may increase the risks of disease in later life. Therefore, researchers need to identify the factors for paediatric hypertension to help improve the general health of a population.

Smoking increase blood pressure

There have been mixed reports on whether active cigarette smoking increases blood pressure in adults. There is an association between active and passive smoking and changes in arterial stiffness in adults and endothelial dysfunction in children. A team from the Department of Paediatrics at Montefiore Medical Centre in the US investigated whether there was a link between active and passive cigarette smoke exposure and an increased blood pressure in children. They were searching to see if they could spot one of the factors for paediatric hypertension.

The work was published in the journal Pediatrics under the title Analysis of Active and Passive Tobacco Exposures and Blood Pressure in US Children and Adolescents. The team used the data from over 8500 children aged 8-19 years old taken in a national health and nutrition study from 2007 to 2016. Tobacco exposure was classed as living in the home of a smoker or by measuring the serum cotinine levels using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Advances in LC-MS techniques are discussed in the article, The Evolution of Data Independent Analysis: Complex Sample Analysis Using UPLC Ion Mobility Mass Spectrometry.

Raise the age for buying cigarettes?

The researchers found a statistically significant association between tobacco exposure and elevated blood pressure that was still present after statistical adjustments. The increase was similar among different age groups, sex, and ethnicity. The results are supported by data which shows a biological plausibility for the association between tobacco exposure and blood pressure. Nicotine causes acute elevations in blood pressure, but the link to chronic hypertension is not clear.

There are significant public health implications to the association of tobacco exposure with elevated blood pressure. In the US, some public health reports have suggested that raising the legal age to purchase tobacco products would result in over 200,000 fewer premature deaths. The study shows that tobacco exposure may be harmful to the cardiovascular system in children.

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