MONDAY, Sept. 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Childhood secondhand smoke exposure predicts an increased risk for adulthood atrial fibrillation (AF) after adjusting for other risk factors, according to a study published in the Oct. 1 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Christopher A. Groh, M.D., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues used data from the Framingham Offspring cohort to evaluate if parental smoking predicts offspring AF. The analysis included 2,816 offspring with at least one parent participating in the original Framingham Heart Study.

The researchers found that 82 percent of offspring were exposed to parental smoking and 14.3 percent developed AF during a follow-up period of 40.5 years. The investigators observed an 18 percent increase in offspring AF incidence for every pack/day increase in parental smoking (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.18; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.00 to 1.39; P = 0.04). Parental smoking was also a risk factor for offspring smoking (adjusted odds ratio, 1.34; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.17 to 1.54; P < 0.001). The relationship between parental smoking and offspring AF was partially mediated by offspring smoking (17 percent; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.5 to 103.3 percent).

“These findings highlight potential new pathways for AF risk that begin during childhood, offering new evidence to motivate smoking avoidance and cessation,” the authors write.

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