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Tobacco Smoke Exposure May Start Affecting Kidneys in Teen Years

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Tobacco smoke exposure may affect teen kidney function, a new study suggests. The research included the effects of active smoking and secondhand smoke.

Researchers studied 7,517 adolescents, ages 12 to 17. They assessed the teens’ exposure to smoking through a questionnaire, as well as a blood test. They found teens’ exposure to smoke was associated with lower estimated glomerular filtration rates, a common measure of how well the kidneys are working, MedicalXpress reports.

“Protecting young people from active smoking is essential since nearly 80 percent of adults who smoke begin smoking by 18 years of age,” lead researcher Ana Navas-Acien, MD, PhD, of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said in a news release.

“Small changes in the distribution of estimated glomerular filtration rate levels in the population could have a substantial impact in kidney-related illness, as it is well known for changes in blood pressure levels and hypertension-related disease,” added co-author Jeffrey Fadrowski, MD, MHS.

The study appears in the journal Pediatrics.

A study published last year found exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk of wheezing and asthma in children and teens by at least 20 percent.

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