- FAMRI Center
Determination of Tobacco Smoke Exposure by Plasma Continine Levels in Infants and Children in Urban Public Hospital Clinics
“African-American infants and children are twice as likely to be harmed by second hand smoke (SHS) exposure as children of other ethnicities, according to new research findings published online in archpediatrics.com by Dr. Delia Dempsey, et al. Further complicating the determining factors for these findings is the inaccuracy of parental reporting of children’s exposure to SHS. Parents under report SHS for many reasons, including a lack of awareness of the pervasiveness of SHS. However, it was determined that biochemical testing can detect when tobacco exposure has occurred and that it is a known significant cause of severe respiratory illnesses and death in children. Dempsey’s article states that prevention of exposure requires educating all parents about the hazards of SHS exposure so that they can move toward identifying and eliminating the sources of tobacco smoke exposure.
The primary aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of SHS exposure among infants and young children who received primary care at SFGH Medical Center, based on the biomarker of plasma cotinine level, and to compare the rates of nicotine metabolism estimated using the nicotine metabolite ratio (NMR) among children of different race/ethnicity groups. Smoking prevalence remains high in economically disadvantaged populations. The researchers advocate that “the most sensitive way to assess exposure is by measurement of biomarkers of tobacco smoke exposure.” Their conclusions are based on “novel data on biochemically measured SHS exposure in children from infancy to 18 years old in an urban public hospital pediatric clinic.” To read the full article, click here.