Smoke exposure late in pregnancy might boost baby's eczema risk

March 3, 2012
Smoke exposure late in pregnancy might boost baby's eczema risk
But study finds no raised risk for skin condition from exposure early in pregnancy or after birth.

(HealthDay) -- A mother's exposure to tobacco smoke during the last three months of pregnancy may increase the risk that her child will develop the allergic skin condition eczema during infancy, a new study suggests.

The study authors pointed out that it is already known that children whose mothers were exposed to tobacco smoke during pregnancy are at a higher than normal risk for developing asthma or respiratory infections. However, previous studies regarding the relationship between smoke exposure and eczema risk came up with mixed results.

To investigate the potential connection, the research team focused on more than 1,400 infants between the ages of 2 months and 18 months.

The children's families provided information on their history of and the level of environmental during pregnancy and thereafter. The investigators also noted all cases of eczema, which is characterized by red, itchy skin.

The team found that eczema rates were significantly higher among children who had been exposed to smoke during their mother's than among children who had no smoke exposure. No such increase in eczema risk was observed among children whose mothers were exposed to smoke during the . Similarly, no increased risk was noted among infants exposed to smoke in the first six months following birth and beyond.

"Tobacco smoke exposure during the third trimester seems to affect the development of the immune system in the offspring, which in turn facilitates development of eczema after birth," the study's senior author, Dr. Kenji Matsumoto, said in a news release from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. "This also raises questions of whether or not tobacco smoke exposure may affect the innate immune responses of the skin."

Matsumoto and colleague Dr. Miwa Shinohara are scheduled to present the study findings Saturday during a meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology in Orlando, Fla.

Researchers note that the study does not show that smoke exposure in the last trimester causes , merely that an association between the two was found.

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

Explore further: Living with a smoker may raise blood pressure in boys

More information: For more on eczema, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Related Stories

Living with a smoker may raise blood pressure in boys

May 1, 2011
Exposure to secondhand smoke, even at extremely low levels, is associated with increased blood pressure in boys, according to new research being presented Sunday, May 1, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting ...

Recommended for you

Despite benefits, half of parents against later school start times

August 18, 2017
Leading pediatrics and sleep associations agree: Teens shouldn't start school so early.

Doctors exploring how to prescribe income security

August 18, 2017
Physicians at St. Michael's Hospital are studying how full-time income support workers hired by health-care clinics can help vulnerable patients or those living in poverty improve their finances and their health.

Schoolchildren who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try tobacco

August 17, 2017
Vaping - or the use of e-cigarettes - is widely accepted as a safer option for people who are already smoking.

Federal snack program does not yield expected impacts, researchers find

August 17, 2017
A well-intentioned government regulation designed to offer healthier options in school vending machines has failed to instill better snacking habits in a sample of schools in Appalachian Virginia, according to a study by ...

In a nutshell: Walnuts activate brain region involved in appetite control

August 17, 2017
Packed with nutrients linked to better health, walnuts are also thought to discourage overeating by promoting feelings of fullness. Now, in a new brain imaging study, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) ...

Study shows cigarette makers shifted stance on nicotine patches, gum

August 17, 2017
The use of nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, inhalers or nasal sprays—together called "nicotine replacement therapy," or NRT—came into play in 1984 as prescription medicine, which when combined with counseling, helped ...

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.