Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Breathing in Second-Hand Smoke Can Cause Mental Illness

Did you know more than 60 percent of children, ages 3 to 11-years-old are exposed to second-hand smoke? The affects of second-hand smoke may be damaging to their mental health as it has been linked to cause anxiety, ADHD, and depression.In a recent study in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, researchers looked at nearly 3,000 children, ages 8 to 15. They examined the affects of second-hand smoke by measuring the amount of continie in the child's system. Cotinie is a chemical made from nicotine found in cigarette smoke that shows how much cigarette smoke enters the body. The children were also given a questionnaire from the National Institute of Mental Health's Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children to see what current mental disorders they possessed.

After the study was conducted, the researchers found that higher levels of continine were linked to symptoms of emotional/behavioral problems such as generalized anxiety disorder, ADHD, conduct disorder, and major depressive disorder.

Los Angeles Times reports, "none of those symptoms added up to a single diagnosis of a mental health disorder that could be linked with exposure to second-hand smoke in the children and teens in the study." The authors of the study agreed that a child's psychiatric history is not controlled. Even still, this research increases evidence that second-hand smoke negatively affects a child's health. It has been shown that second-hand smoke increases the risk of stillbirth and congenital birth defects in nonsmoking pregnant women according to Time Magazine.

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