Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tobacco Smoke Linked To Allergic Rhinitis In Infants

Date:
May 17, 2006
Source:
University of Cincinnati
Summary:
University of Cincinnati (UC) epidemiologists say it's environmental tobacco smoke -- not the suspected visible mold -- that drastically increases an infant's risk for developing allergic rhinitis by age 1.

Nurse practitioner Sherry Stanforth (left) listens to a Cincinnati Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution Study participant's breathing during a regular check-up.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Cincinnati

University of Cincinnati (UC) epidemiologists say it’s environmental tobacco smoke—not the suspected visible mold—that drastically increases an infant’s risk for developing allergic rhinitis by age 1.

Commonly known as hay fever, allergic rhinitis occurs when a person’s immune system mistakenly reacts to allergens (aggravating particles) in the air. The body then releases substances to protect itself, causing the allergy sufferer to experience persistent sneezing and a runny, blocked nose.

This is the first study to show a relationship between environmental tobacco smoke exposure and allergic rhinitis in year-old infants, the UC team reports in the June issue of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology and an early online edition May 17.

“Previous studies have addressed risk factors for allergic rhinitis, but they failed to examine multiple environmental exposures, and some yielded contradictory results,” says Jocelyn Biagini, lead author and an epidemiologist in UC’s environmental health department.

The study evaluated the effects of numerous indoor exposures to such things as environmental tobacco smoke, visible mold, pets, siblings and the day-care environment on 633 infants under age one.

“We found that infants who were exposed to 20 or more cigarettes a day were three times more likely to develop allergic rhinitis by their first birthday than those who were not exposed,” says Biagini.

These findings, she says, suggest that for the health of their children, it’s important for parents to eliminate tobacco smoke from their homes.

“An infant’s lungs and immune system are still developing in the first year of life,” says Grace LeMasters, PhD, coauthor and principal investigator of the Cincinnati Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution Study (CCAAPS). “Environmental tobacco smoke puts harmful particulates in the air that—when inhaled regularly at such an early age—could lead to serious allergic conditions like asthma.”

CCAAPS, funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, is a five-year study examining the effects of environmental particulates on childhood respiratory health and allergy development.

About 43 percent of children, says Dr. LeMasters, are exposed to home environmental tobacco smoke. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 21 percent of all American adults smoke cigarettes. Of them, 12 percent report smoking 25 or more cigarettes daily.

While household mold, long thought to be a major cause, did not contribute to allergic rhinitis development, Biagini says, it did increase the infant’s risk for ear infections.

Infants exposed to a mold patch about the size of a shoebox were five times more likely to contract ear infections requiring antibiotics than those living in mold-free homes, she explains.

The UC study also suggests that infants with older siblings are less likely to have allergic rhinitis.

“Research has shown that exposure to certain infections early in life may decrease your risk for allergic diseases,” explains James Lockey, MD, professor of environmental health and pulmonary medicine. “We found a ‘sibling protective effect’ for allergic rhinitis—this may mean the more siblings infants have, the more infections they are exposed to. As a result, the infant’s body may be better equipped to fight off allergic diseases later in life.”

Collaborators in the study were David Bernstein, MD, Gurjit Khurana Hershey, MD, PhD, Patrick Ryan, Linda Levin, PhD, Tiina Reponen, PhD, Jeff Burkle and Manuel Villareal, MD.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies, many of which are can be triggered by airborne environmental pollutants.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Cincinnati. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Cincinnati. "Tobacco Smoke Linked To Allergic Rhinitis In Infants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 May 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060517180015.htm>.
University of Cincinnati. (2006, May 17). Tobacco Smoke Linked To Allergic Rhinitis In Infants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060517180015.htm
University of Cincinnati. "Tobacco Smoke Linked To Allergic Rhinitis In Infants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060517180015.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins