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Parental smoking has been implicated in worsening asthma, ear infections and bronchitis. Passive smoke may also increase kids' risk of lung disease as adults. Now new research from Boston Children's Hospital shows that regular exposure to smoke puts kids at greater risk for early heart disease as well. In the study, kids in smoking homes had 10 percent less protective HDL cholesterol than those with nonsmoking parents. "Even children of light smokers suffered negative effects," says Ellis Neufeld, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Since kids rarely have cholesterol problems, researchers evaluated those with inherited high cholesterol. But, the result may point to long-term heart troubles for all kids whose parents smoke, including those with normal cholesterol levels during childhood.--Kirsten Danis