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20 May 2008

Smoke linked to asthma

Foetal and childhood exposure to second-hand smoke may cause nearly one-quarter of adult asthma cases, study finds

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Exposure to second-hand cigarette smoke in the womb or during childhood substantially increases the risk of developing asthma and respiratory symptoms during adulthood, according to a new Norwegian study.

The study included over 2 800 adults. Researchers compared the incidence of asthma and respiratory symptoms to the study participants' self-reported passive smoke exposure in the womb and during childhood.

Reporting in the current issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, the Norwegian team believes that combined total exposure to passive smoke during childhood may have accounted for nearly 25 percent of adult asthma cases among the study participants. That suggests that nearly a quarter of adult asthma cases could be prevented if children were not exposed to passive smoking from parents and others in the home, they conclude.

The study authors also believe this is the first study to show that exposure to passive smoke in the womb or during childhood causes a lasting vulnerability to asthma or respiratory symptoms. - (HealthDayNews)

 
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