Secondhand smoke ups babies' risk of asthma, study says

October 15, 2012
Secondhand smoke ups babies' risk of asthma, study says
Premature infants especially susceptible to ills of cigarette smoke.

(HealthDay)—Babies exposed to cigarette smoke are at increased risk for developing childhood respiratory diseases such as asthma, according to a new study.

Researchers exposed from the airways of deceased 18- to 20-week human fetuses to various levels of cigarette smoke. The cells exposed to cigarette smoke showed changes that were similar to the effects of inflammation in asthma.

Even low levels of cigarette smoke caused these changes, while higher levels caused cell death. These changes narrow the airway and make it more difficult for a baby to breathe. The effects would be especially harmful in premature babies, according to the study, which is scheduled for presentation Monday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).

"Due to their highly , premature babies often require high levels of additional oxygen in the unit, which can put these babies at higher risk for lifelong problems with lung diseases," study author Dr. Elizabeth Vogel, of the department of anesthesiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said in an ASA news release.

Exposure to secondhand smoke at home often leads to more respiratory problems and possible return trips to the , she added.

Data and conclusions presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

Explore further: New research shows overheating newborns can increase the risk of SIDS

More information: The American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery has more about secondhand smoke and children.

Related Stories

Smoking cigarettes simulates cystic fibrosis

October 12, 2011

If you smoke cigarettes, you have more in common with someone who has cystic fibrosis than you think. A new research report appearing online in the FASEB Journal shows that smoking cigarettes affects the lungs in a way that ...

Recommended for you

Stop the rogue ADAM gene and you stop asthma

July 21, 2016

Scientists at the University of Southampton have discovered a potential and novel way of preventing asthma at the origin of the disease, a finding that could challenge the current understanding of the condition.

Scientists reveal cellular clockwork underlying inflammation

August 27, 2015

Researchers at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech have uncovered key cellular functions that help regulate inflammation—a discovery that could have important implications for the treatment of allergies, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.