- FAMRI Center
Smoking During Pregnancy Is Associated With Worse Asthma Symptoms In Children
Exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) can cause asthma and worsen asthma symptoms. However, it is unknown whether SHS exposure over the course of one’s life (in utero, early childhood, or current exposure) is equally detrimental toward asthma, or if exposure during certain time points is more influential.
The aim of the research by Oh and colleagues was to determine which time point of SHS exposure had the most impact on asthma symptoms. As minority populations are disproportionately affected by asthma yet underrepresented in clinical asthma research, the authors examined nearly 2500 African American and Latino children with physician-diagnosed asthma. After controlling for known asthma risk factors (such as poverty, indoor allergens, race/ethnicity, and a family history of asthma), the group found that children with the worst asthma symptoms were 50% more likely to have had mothers who smoked during pregnancy, even after controlling for early-life and current tobacco smoke exposure. The research, which recruited children who were 8-17 years old, indicates that exposure to tobacco smoke while in utero leads to worse asthma symptoms many years after the exposure has occurred. The biological mechanism linking in utero smoking to worse asthma symptoms remains unidentified, but the researchers suspect that smoking during pregnancy may leave a genetic “imprint” that negatively affects asthma symptoms later in life. To read full article, click here