Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Link Between Tobacco Smoke And Behavioral Problems In Boys With Asthma Strengthened With New Study

Date:
December 5, 2008
Source:
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Summary:
Boys with asthma who are exposed to environmental tobacco smoke have higher degrees of hyperactivity, aggression, depression and other behavioral problems, according to researchers. The researchers said behavioral problems increase along with higher exposure levels, but they added even low levels of tobacco smoke may be detrimental to behavior.

Boys with asthma who are exposed to environmental tobacco smoke have higher degrees of hyperactivity, aggression, depression and other behavioral problems, according to researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

In a study posted online ahead of print by the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, the researchers said behavioral problems increase along with higher exposure levels, but they added even low levels of tobacco smoke may be detrimental to behavior.

"These findings should encourage us to make stronger efforts to prevent childhood exposure to tobacco smoke, especially among higher risk populations, such as children with asthma," said Kimberly Yolton, Ph.D., lead author of the study and a researcher at the Children's Environmental Health Center at Cincinnati Children's.

Interestingly, although girls in the study were on average exposed to higher levels of tobacco smoke than boys, the exposure did not lead to an increase in behavioral problems among them, investigators said. In boys, however, behavioral problems increased about two fold with each doubling in their tobacco smoke exposure, said Dr. Yolton.

There have been studies involving adults and animals pointing to a difference in tobacco smoke's behavioral impact on males and females. Even so, the Cincinnati Children's authors said additional research is needed to explain why they observed different degrees of behavioral impact among the 220 boys and girls, ages 6-12, in the study.

"The largest increase we observed was in overall behavioral problems, but it was interesting that in addition to externalizing behaviors – like hyperactivity and aggression – we also saw an increase in internalizing behaviors, such as depression," explained Dr. Yolton. "Few studies have found a link between tobacco smoke and depression in children."

Although no data exist to specifically explain why tobacco smoke causes behavioral problems in children with asthma, Dr. Yolton said there is "quite a bit of evidence" that nicotine in tobacco smoke affects development and functioning of the nervous system, as well as child development and behavior.

According to estimates provided by parents, children in the current study were exposed to an average of 13 cigarettes a day. Parent estimates are frequently used in research as a gauge of child tobacco smoke exposure, but the current study went a step further because parental estimates can be inaccurate, said Dr. Yolton, also an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

Investigators also measured the cotinine levels in the children's blood. Cotinine is a byproduct, or metabolite, of nicotine and is often used as a biomarker to more accurately measure tobacco smoke exposure.

The researchers compared cotinine levels to behavioral patterns observed in the children during the previous two weeks. Behavioral patterns were reported by parents using the Behavioral Assessment System for Children (BASC). The BASC is a standardized survey for measuring specific behaviors like hyperactivity, anxiety, attention problems, conduct problems, depression and somatization (complaining about physical problems that have no physical explanation or basis).

Researchers also accounted for other factors that might affect child's behavior. These included socioeconomics, like a parent's education and household income, parent mental health, asthma severity and medications used. The researchers also assessed physical and nurturing qualities of the home by using a tool called the Home Observation for Measurement of Environment (HOME). The investigators also included whether mothers smoked during pregnancy, which Dr. Yolton said allowed researchers to strengthen findings related to environmental tobacco exposure.

Among 220 children in the study, 61 percent were boys, 56 percent were African American and 77 percent had moderate to severe asthma, with the rest having mild asthma. Inclusion in the study required that, other than asthma, the children have no other health problems, including mental retardation, and that they be exposed to at least five cigarettes a day. Families participating in the research were all participants in the Cincinnati Asthma Prevention Study.

The research project was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health. Other researchers contributing to the study include Kim Dietrich, Ph.D., of the University of Cincinnati Department of Environmental Health and Jane Khoury, Ph.D., Richard Hornung, DrPH, , Paul Succop, Ph.D, and Bruce Lanphear, M.D., MPH, all of Cincinnati Children's.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. "Link Between Tobacco Smoke And Behavioral Problems In Boys With Asthma Strengthened With New Study." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081204133553.htm>.
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. (2008, December 5). Link Between Tobacco Smoke And Behavioral Problems In Boys With Asthma Strengthened With New Study. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081204133553.htm
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. "Link Between Tobacco Smoke And Behavioral Problems In Boys With Asthma Strengthened With New Study." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081204133553.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Research from Washington University suggest people with conscientious spouses have greater career success. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Researchers say certain markers in the blood can predict risk of psychosis later in the life. The test can aid in early treatment for the condition. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

AP (Sep. 25, 2014) Teri Tacheny, a harpist, has a loyal following of fans who appreciate her soothing music. Every month, gorillas, orangutans and monkeys amble down to hear her play at the Como Park Zoo in Minnesota. (Sept. 25) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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