Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: A new study suggests that the risk of a child having asthma rise by 2.1 to 2.7 times when the mother is a smoker.
Not just this, in case if the father is a smoker, the chances of having asthma rise by 1.2-1.9 times for children who are passively exposed to cigarette smoke.
Passive smoking is known to worsen asthma symptoms in children and impair their response to inhaled steroid treatment
In the study published in the current issue of Journal of Asthma, Dr Bharat Bhushan Sharma, Associate Professor, SMS Hospital, and author of the article today said that the risk of asthma increases with passive smoking.
The lead author, Dr Sheetu Singh, Assistant Professor, Institute of Respiratory Diseases, described that pollution and passive smoking cause asthma and the risk of developing the condition increases when traffic pollution level near the house is high.
She said that when heavy vehicles passed by frequently or whole day on the road near the residence, the risk of getting asthma increased from 1.2 to 1.7 times.
"The traffic pollution levels were also analyzed during the study period in the same cities and it was found that the PM10 levels (which indicate the number of particles with size below 10?m) were higher than the permissible limit in all the 8 centers in which the national air quality surveillance was conducted," Singh said.
"India was a part of the study conducted in over 100 countries all across the world and Jaipur was one of the centers. The Indian data were recently analyzed and published in the Journal in which 93,016 children of two age groups (5-6 years and 13-14 years) participated," she said.
Describing the data as frightening, Dr Virendra Singh, President Indian Chest Society said that traffic pollution should be controlled by better public transport system, banning entry of heavy traffic in the city and removing truck and bus repair shops from residential localities.
Also read: Stress triggers smoking in new mothers
"Children should not be exposed to cigarette smoke and awareness should be generated among parents that smoking in presence of children increases the risk of asthma," he said.
He also claimed that this was the first Indian study documenting increased risk of asthma when either parent was a smoker.
(With Agency inputs)