Tags: smoke | children | risk

Smoke Hikes Kids’ Long-term Risks

Tuesday, 22 May 2012 10:55 AM

Children exposed to secondhand smoke face long-term respiratory problems that persist well beyond childhood, regardless of whether they become tobacco users themselves.
That’s the conclusion of a new study by University of Arizona researchers, presented at the presented at the American Thoracic Society 2012 International Conference in San Francisco.
For decades, health experts have warned of the potential health risks associated with exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, especially among children whose parents smoke. But the new study is the first to track long-term health risks.
"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 lead researcher Juliana Pugmire. "Persistent respiratory illness in childhood and young adulthood could indicate an increased risk of chronic respiratory illness and lung function deficits in later life."
For the study, researchers tracked health reports from the Tucson Epidemiological Study of Airway Obstructive Disease -- a large research initiative started in 1972 that enrolled 3,805 individuals from 1,655 households in the Tucson area to track respiratory and other chronic diseases over time.
Participants completed questionnaires every two years until 1996. For the new study, researchers used data from 371 individuals who were enrolled in the study as children.
Pugmire and her colleagues found more than 52 percent of children in the study were exposed to smoke between birth and 15 years. They found tobacco exposure in childhood was significantly associated with respiratory symptoms, wheezing, asthma and chronic cough (bronchitis) that persisted into adulthood.

© HealthDay

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Secondhand smoke raises children's risk of respiratory problems that can persist into adulthood.
Tuesday, 22 May 2012 10:55 AM
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