A new study from the University of Western Australia has found the risk of heart disease is greater among teen girls who smoke compared to teen boys who smoke.
Researchers surveyed 1050 teenagers born between 1989 and 1992.
Lead author Dr. Chi Le-Ha, from UWA’s School Medicine and Pharmacology and based at Royal Perth Hospital, says girls who smoked had significantly higher high-sensitivity levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), which has been linked to cardiovascular disease. The group of boys who smoke also had higher CRP, although the association was not statistically significant.
CRP is an inflammatory marker, and smoking adversely affects the body’s inflammatory profile.
“We found that adolescent girls are vulnerable to the harmful effects of active and smoking exposure with regard to future cardiovascular disease risk,” said Dr. Le-Ha. “In this context, our research suggests the effects of smoking exposure on long-term cardiovascular health may be more detrimental in women, given both smoking behaviour and C-reactive protein levels track from childhood to adulthood.”
The study was published in the Journal of Lipid Research.
Source: ScienceNetwork Western Australia