Health Alert 10-9-12

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October 9, 2012 - Smoking can kill you even if you never light up. A new study finds second hand smoke kills more than 42,000 people a year. Among those, 900 infants were exposed to second hand smoke either in the womb or after they're born. According to the study, the consequences of second hand smoke is particularly devastating on African Americans and babies. The study found African Americans account for thirteen percent of all second hand smoke deaths, but thirty six percent of second hand smoke infant deaths. Researchers say the number of deaths related to second hand smoke are likely much higher than reported.

Also, kids who don't get enough sleep may be at a greater risk for heart disease later in life. Canadian researchers followed 4,000 adolescents and found those who were sleep deprived were more likely to be overweight and have higher cholesterol and blood pressure than other kids. Doctors say these conditions put them at risk for serious health problems down the road. Experts suggest that parents encourage their kids to keep a consistent sleep schedule on all days of the week and remove "stimulants" out of their bedrooms including TVs, computers and cell phones. Cutting down on caffeinated drinks during the day can also help.

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