The new Finnish study found that children exposed to cigarette smoke from parents due to smoking may have worse learning abilities and memory when they are adults.
Conducted by researchers at the Center for Applied and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine at Turku University, the new study looked at 3,596 children and adolescents aged three to 18 years and followed them between 1980 and 2011.
To measure exposure to cigarette smoke from children, the researchers asked parents to self-report whether they smoke and take blood samples from children and adolescents to measure their levels of cotinine, an alkaloid found in tobacco and used as a biological marker for exposure to tobacco smoke. To see the relationship between this exposure and cognitive function in adulthood, 2,026 participants underwent cognitive testing between ages 34 and 49 years.
These findings, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, show that those who are exposed to parenting in adolescence and adolescents have worse learning abilities and memory later on than participants whose parents did not smoke in front of them, with researchers. found that the differences in cognitive performance between the two groups of participants were equivalent to differences caused by aging for up to five years.
The results are also valid even after other factors such as age, blood pressure and cholesterol levels have been calculated. This association was also independent of whether the participants themselves smoked in adolescence or adulthood.
A weak association was also found between exposure to tobacco smoke and short and spatial working memory.
“Previous studies have focused on adult exposure or on the short-term effects of childhood exposure, while this study brings new information about the long-term relationship between childhood cigarette exposure and cognitive function in middle age,” the researchers said. senior Suvi Rovio.
The researchers say that these findings highlight the negative effects of cigarette smoke exposure on children, and that efforts must be made to prevent this exposure both at home and in other areas. JB
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