Estimates suggest that anywhere between 4.8 and 5.5 million children in the U.S. live in households where they are exposed to secondhand smoke, putting them at greater risk for multiple health problems. Now, new research suggests that secondhand smoke exposure can increase the odds of developing certain mental and behavioral disorders by 50 percent.
Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health looked at the data generated by a 2007 national health survey, analyzing the responses of the parents of guardians of more than 55,000 children ages 11 and younger from throughout the U.S. They found that children who were exposed to secondhand smoke were twice as likely to develop so-called neurobehavioral disorders -- including learning disabilities, ADD or ADHD, and conduct or behavior disorders -- than were children who lived in smoke-free homes.
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