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The impact of pre- and post-natal smoke exposure on future asthma and bronchial hyper-responsiveness

Journal article
Authors Emma Goksör
Kerstin Åmark
Bernt Alm
Per M. Gustafsson
Göran Wennergren
Published in Acta Paediatr
Volume 96
Issue 7
Pages 1030-5
ISSN 0803-5253
Publication year 2007
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences
Pages 1030-5
Language en
Keywords Adolescent, Adult, Asthma/epidemiology/*etiology/physiopathology, Bronchial Hyperreactivity/epidemiology/*etiology/physiopathology, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Male, Multivariate Analysis, Pregnancy, Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects/*epidemiology, Risk Factors, Smoking/adverse effects/*epidemiology, Sweden/epidemiology, Tobacco Smoke Pollution/*adverse effects
Subject categories Physiology, Dermatology and Venereal Diseases


AIM: To analyse the impact of pre- and post-natal smoke exposure on asthma presence, bronchial hyper-responsiveness, airway function and active smoking in early adulthood. METHODS: We have prospectively studied 101 children hospitalized due to wheezing before the age of 2 years. The cohort was re-investigated at age 17-20 years and tested for airway function and bronchial hyper-responsiveness. Data on maternal smoking during pregnancy were obtained from the Swedish Medical Birth Register. RESULTS: There was a significant, independent correlation between both pre- and post-natal smoke exposure and asthma at age 17-20 years, OR 3.5 (1.1-11.3) and 3.4 (1.2-10.1), respectively. Maternal smoking during pregnancy was an independent risk factor for current bronchial hyper-responsiveness, OR 6.6 (1.2-35.5). Pre-natal smoke exposure seemed to negatively affect small airway function in early adulthood due to structural changes. Post-natal smoke exposure was independently associated with an increased risk of current smoking, OR 7.4 (1.6-35.2). CONCLUSION: In subjects hospitalized due to early wheezing, pre- and post-natal smoke exposure increase the risk of asthma in early adulthood. The connection between pre-natal smoke exposure and asthma appears to be mediated via the development of bronchial hyper-responsiveness. Smoke exposure in infancy is associated with an increased risk of active smoking in early adult age, which is in turn linked to current asthma.

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