Research shows secondhand smoke could increase your chance of this

Research shows secondhand smoke could increase your chance of this

By now, you know secondhand smoke is dangerous. It can cause asthma, cancer, respiratory infections, ear infections and more. But a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that exposing children to secondhand smoke can also increase their chances of atrial fibrillation (Afib) as adults.

Afib is the most common heart rhythm disorder, expected to afflict 16 million Americans by 2050, according to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. In the decades-long study, secondhand smoke produced by a person smoking a pack per day increased children’s chances of developing AFib by 18%.

“Direct smoking has already been pinpointed as an AFib aggravator,” says Dr. Vinay Mehta, electrophysiologist at Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay, WI. “However, this new study really hammers on just dangerous secondhand smoke is.”

Some key symptoms of Afib include.

  • Heart palpitations
  • Irregular and fast pulse
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or feeling faint
  • Easily fatigued

If you are feeling sudden chest pain, shortness of breath or dizziness that lasts for more than 10 minutes, you should seek immediate help. If you’re looking to quit smoking, check out some helpful tips here and talk to your doctor.

If you are concerned about your heart health, take a free online quiz to learn more.

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One Comment

  1. My grandchildren (14 & 12) constantly complain about their mother’s smoking in the car, especially in the winter or on long trips when the windows are closed. If they say anything to her about it, she just yells at them to mind their own business. I, too, cannot say anything to her about it. She is an intelligent woman so I know she is well aware of secondhand smoke and the implications. What suggestions do you have for my grandchildren to discuss with her?

About the Author

Brianna Wunsch
Brianna Wunsch

Brianna Wunsch, health enews contributor, is a public affairs coordinator for Advocate Aurora Health with a BA in public affairs from University of Wisconsin - Green Bay. In her free time, Brianna enjoys living an active lifestyle through biking, hiking and working out at the gym, but even more than that, she especially loves spending quality time with her two cats (Arthur and Loki), son and husband.