Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Children Exposed to Smoking Face Long-Term Respiratory Risks

Date:
May 20, 2012
Source:
American Thoracic Society (ATS)
Summary:
A new study shows that the health risks associated with exposure to environmental tobacco smoke among children whose parents smoke persist well beyond childhood, independent of whether or not they end up becoming smokers.

For more than three decades, researchers have warned of the potential health risks associated with exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), especially among children whose parents smoke. Now a new study conducted by researchers from the University of Arizona reports that those health risks persist well beyond childhood, independent of whether or not those individuals end up becoming smokers later in life.

Related Articles


The study will be presented at the ATS 2012 International Conference in San Francisco.

"This study shows that exposure to parental smoking increases the risk of persistence of respiratory symptoms from childhood into adulthood independent of personal smoking," said Juliana Pugmire, MPH, DrPH., research specialist at the University of Arizona in Tucson. "Persistent respiratory illness in childhood and young adulthood could indicate an increased risk of chronic respiratory illness and lung function deficits in later life."

Although a significant proportion of children throughout the world are exposed to ETS, primarily as a result of their parents' smoking, there is little information regarding the long-term effects of that exposure, Dr. Pugmire noted.

"Earlier studies established a link between parental smoking and childhood respiratory illness, but in this study, we sought to demonstrate whether these effects persisted into adulthood," she said. "A handful of studies examined whether children exposed to parental smoking had asthma that developed or persisted in adulthood but most did not find an association.

"We examined asthma as well as other respiratory symptoms and found that exposure to parental smoking had the strongest association with cough and chronic cough that persisted into adult life," she continued. "Exposure to parental smoking also had effects, although weaker, on persistent wheezing and asthma in adulthood."

The researchers drew data from the Tucson Epidemiological Study of Airway Obstructive Disease (TESAOD), a large, population-based, prospective study initiated in 1972 that enrolled 3,805 individuals from 1,655 households in the Tucson area in an effort to assess prevalence rates and risk factors of respiratory and other chronic diseases. Participants were asked to complete questionnaires that were issued every two years until 1996. For this study, the researchers used data from 371 individuals who were enrolled in the TESAOD as children.

"We identified individuals who entered the TESAOD study when they were under 15 years of age and who were followed to adulthood during the study," Dr. Pugmire said. "When we collected data from the child participants, we also collected information about the parents' smoking status."

Dr. Pugmire and her colleagues looked at the reported prevalence of active asthma, wheeze, cough and chronic cough, which was defined as a persistent cough that had occurred for three consecutive months. They then divided the data into four categories: never, which included individuals who had not reported that symptom during childhood or adulthood; incident, which included individuals who had never reported the symptom in childhood, but had reported at least one incident in adulthood; remittent, including participants who reported at least one incident in childhood and none in adulthood; and persistent, which included individuals who had at least one report of a symptom during both childhood and adulthood.

Once the data were collected, the researchers determined that 52.3 percent of children included in the current study were exposed to ETS between birth and 15 years. After adjusting for sex, age, years of follow-up and personal smoking status, the researchers found that ETS exposure in childhood was significantly associated with several persistent respiratory symptoms, including persistent wheeze, cough and chronic cough.

"Persistent wheezing from childhood into adult life has been shown to be associated with lung function deficits. Chronic bronchitis (defined as chronic cough and phlegm) is a significant risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) development later in life. Therefore, the persistence of symptoms like chronic cough and wheeze into young adulthood may indicate a susceptibility to lung function deficits and chronic respiratory illness with age," Dr. Pugmire noted.

Future studies will be needed to examine the potential synergistic effects of personal smoking and exposure to parental smoking on risk of COPD morbidity and mortality in middle to late adult life, she added.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Thoracic Society (ATS). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Thoracic Society (ATS). "Children Exposed to Smoking Face Long-Term Respiratory Risks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120520133614.htm>.
American Thoracic Society (ATS). (2012, May 20). Children Exposed to Smoking Face Long-Term Respiratory Risks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120520133614.htm
American Thoracic Society (ATS). "Children Exposed to Smoking Face Long-Term Respiratory Risks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120520133614.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) 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