Exposure to household smoke ups bronchiolitis risk

Washington: Here’s another reason for parents to smoke outside or kick the butt.

A new study has found that babies exposed to household smoke are more likely to be affected by bronchiolitis than infants who came from non-smoking households, regardless of their socio-economic status.

Researchers at the University of Liverpool also found that those children are twice as likely to need oxygen therapy and five times as likely to need mechanical ventilation as babies whose parents do not smoke.

Tobacco smoke is the most common and important indoor environmental pollutant to which young children are exposed. The relationship between household tobacco smoke and risk of developing bronchiolitis in infants is well recognized, as is the relationship between deprivation and smoking.

However, to date, it has been difficult to describe the independent contributions of tobacco smoke exposure and deprivation (socioeconomic status) upon severity of bronchiolitis.

The new study assessed infants from Liverpool who were admitted to Alder Hey Children``s hospital with a diagnosis of bronchiolitis.

“Tobacco smoke exposure is a preventable factor that both causes and increases the severity of disease in infants and their consequent use of health resources. This study provides the first robust evidence that the adverse health effects of smoking can be distinguished from the health effects of social deprivation,” said Dr Calum Semple, from the Institute of Child Health.

The study is published in PLoS ONE.


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