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.