New Evidence that Maternal Smoking is Tied to Childrens' Lung Disease [02/27-1]
Excerpts from: Mom's Smoking Tied to Adult Children's Lung Disease
Amy Norton Health Reuters [02/26/04]
The effects of a mother's smoking on her children's lungs may be permanent, possibly furthering the risk of serious lung disease in children who take up the habit themselves, new research suggests.
The UK study found that the adult children of female smokers had smaller lung volumes compared with the children of non-smokers, regardless of whether they themselves smoked.
What's more, among adults who did smoke, those whose mothers smoked had a higher risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a group of serious lung diseases that includes emphysema.
The study, in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, looked at 2,000 men and women in their 30s, 40s and 50s whose parents had reported their own smoking habits in a study in the 1970s.
The children of women who in the earlier study said they were current smokers and had started before pregnancy were considered as having been exposed to maternal smoking. They were assumed to have been exposed in the womb.
Moreover, if children take up smoking themselves, the findings suggest, a mother's smoking may add to the risk of their developing COPD. In this study, a smoker's risk of COPD climbed 70 percent with every 10 cigarettes his or her mother smoked per day.
That's because there was a relationship, albeit weak, between fathers' smoking and poorer lung function among smokers -- indicating that parents' smoking can cause long-range harm after birth as well.
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American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
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