Prenatal exposure to smoke linked to severe asthma symptoms

August 22, 2011

Children with severe asthma are far more likely to have been exposed to tobacco smoke before birth than children with a mild form of the disease, according to a new study led by researchers at UC San Francisco. The prenatal exposure was also associated with more daily and night-time asthma symptoms and nearly four times the number of emergency room visits, according to the study. Exposure in the womb, the authors of the paper said, was correlated with far more asthma problems than exposure during the first two years of life or current exposure at the time of the child’s symptoms. According to UCSF, this is the first time that prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke has been conclusively linked to severe asthma symptoms later in life. The researchers examined the records of 295 children with asthma aged 8 to 16 in the United States, Puerto Rico and Mexico. The results will be published in the Journal Pediatrics. Follow this link to see the full paper.

–Daniel Weintraub with submission from UC San Francisco.

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