Passive smoking can damage cells in 30 mins

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Washington, May 6 (UNI) Exposure to passive smoking even for a brief period may end up injuring the blood vessels in young and healthy lifelong non-smokers.

Adding on to the injury to the blood vessels, the exposure to smoke impedes the function of the body's natural repair mechanisms, claimed researchers at University of California, Science Daily reported.

The results showed that brief exposure to real-world levels of passive smoke have strong and persistent consequences on the body's vascular system, the researchers conclude.

The study is the first of its kind to link injury to blood vessels with the decreased efficacy of the body's own repair mechanism, namely the endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). EPCs are circulating stem cells in the blood that play a key role in the repair mechanism of injured blood vessels.

''Even brief secondhand smoke exposure not only resulted in blood vessel injury, but it also interfered with the body's ability to repair itself by making the EPCs dysfunctional. It is quite amazing that only 30 minutes of exposure could cause such demonstrable effects,'' said a researcher.

The study also showed that the deleterious effects of the exposure remain in the body for at least 24 hours, much longer than previously thought.

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