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The World in Medicine
July 19, 2006

Parental Smoking

JAMA. 2006;296(3):272. doi:10.1001/jama.296.3.272-b

A large international study confirms that children exposed to cigarette smoke in utero and after birth have an increased risk of impaired lung function (Moshammer H et al. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2006;173:1255-1263).

The researchers analyzed respiratory flow and volume data of 22 712 children from 9 countries in Europe and North America, about 60% of whom had been exposed to cigarette smoke prenatally or in early life. Children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy were up to 40% more likely to have poor lung function (defined as the lowest 5% lung function based on defined cutoff points for the parameters measured) than children born to nonsmokers. Exposure in the first 2 years of life was associated with reduced lung function, independent of parental smoking status during pregnancy.

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