Exposure to parental smoking in adolescence linked to higher risk of cognitive impairment in midlife

Adolescents exposed to parental smoking may be at a higher risk of cognitive impairment by mid-adulthood, a new study suggests. The study was initiated by the University of Turku and released in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

In the study, the group of researchers measured the cognitive performance of more than 2,000 participants in Finland, aged between 34-49. Second-hand smoke exposure during adolescence was measured based on parental self-reports of smoking and serum cotinine levels.

The participants were divided into the following three groups: non-exposure, hygienic parental smoking, and non-hygienic parental smoking.

“Analyses were adjusted for sex, age, family socio-economic status, polygenic risk score for cognitive function, adolescence/adulthood smoking, blood pressure and serum total cholesterol.”

Based on the findings, the participants exposed to non-hygienic parental smoking were at an increased risk of memory impairment by mid-adulthood, compared to the non-exposed group.

“The associations for those exposed to hygienic parental smoking were non-significant,” the study’s co-authors determined.

“Avoiding childhood/adolescence second-hand smoking exposure promotes adulthood cognitive function.”

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