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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  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?

    • Hello, I know that your comment was written more than a year ago, but I suspect that it might still be an issue for your grandchildren now. So, I will share what my grandmother did to help me more than 25 years ago…

      My mother didn’t smoke in the car, but her habit was affecting my health at home. So, my gran volunteered to take me to my weekly allergist appointment. While there she casually asked if smoke could be exacerbating my asthma & allergies. Flabbergasted, the Dr exclaimed, “Of course!” When she found out that my mother was smoking in the house with me present, she said that needed to stop, immediately. To do so she wrote a prescription, FOR MY MOTHER! It was really a short letter on her prescription pad. The Dr explained that what my mom was doing, not only to herself, but to my smaller less healthy lungs was very detrimental. She offered compassion, assistance with cessation & treatment & resources. Timidly, I took the note home, scared that my mom would be upset about the “prescription”. However, she said that she honestly had not realized how much her smoking was bothering me. Quitting was a process…for a while, she went outside whenever she had the urge to smoke. Slowly, those times became less & less. I can proudly say that my mother was smoke-free within 6 months!!! She was healthier & happier, too! I thank that Dr for every extra minute she gave me with my mother!

      By telling my story, I pray that I can give you & your grandchildren a little bit of hope. Maybe their Dr or your daughter’s own physician can help. I’m sure they’d be willing to write a prescription for wellness. Or, each of you can come up with your own way to express how you feel…write, draw, sing a song, make a video. Compile them & give it to your daughter. When she sees the time & effort her family has put into this project, it just might change her mindset.

      Remember, a tiny pebble makes a big ripple. Good Luck!!! XoXo

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.