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Passive Smoking Exposure Tied to Lower HDL-C Among Teen Girls

Girls, but not boys, exposed to passive smoke from birth have lower HDL-C levels at age 17

TUESDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- For nonsmoking adolescent girls, exposure to passive smoke since birth is associated with lower levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), according to a study published in the May 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Chi Le-Ha, M.D., of the University of Western Australia in Perth, and colleagues examined the impact of passive smoking exposure since birth on HDL-C levels for 804 nonsmoking adolescents (mean age, 17 years) using biochemical, anthropometric, and lifestyle data.

The researchers found that, compared with adolescent girls not exposed to passive smoking, those who were exposed to passive smoking since birth had significantly lower levels of HDL-C. This correlation was not seen for boys. Even after adjustment for oral contraceptive use, the effects of passive smoking persisted for girls.

"This study has shown a gender difference in the relationship between passive smoking exposure since birth and HDL-C in late adolescence," the authors write. "Exposure to passive smoking in girls could have adverse consequences on their risk of cardiovascular disease in adulthood. These findings reinforce the need for future public health measures to reduce children's exposure to passive smoking."

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