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Environmental Tobacco Smoke: Relationship to Early Pregnancy Discomforts

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Objectives: We assessed environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and examined its association with pregnancy discomforts. Methods: We used structured questionnaires to interview a convenience sample of 139 pregnant women (8-20 weeks of gestation) recruited from 2 hospitals in central Taiwan. Results: We found that 84% of the participants experienced ETS exposure in their households, workplaces, and/or public areas. Bivariate analyses showed the severity of pregnancy discomforts in the participants exposed to a high level of ETS was higher than that in those exposed to a low level of ETS. We found the discomfort symptoms of thirst, heartburn, lower abdominal pain, frequent urination, and depression to be significantly associated with ETS exposure. There also was a dose-response relationship between ETS exposure and discomfort. In addition, the presence of at least 4 out of those 5 symptoms served as a signal for raising women's self-awareness to avoid ETS hazards. Conclusion: Our study provides empirical evidence of an adverse relationship between ETS exposure and early pregnancy discomforts. The exposure to ETS in pregnant women remains high, and health education programs targeting this population should enhance their self-awareness to the discomforts related to ETS exposure and prompt them to adopt prevention strategies.
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Keywords: ENVIRONMENTAL TOBACCO SMOKE; PREGNANCY DISCOMFORTS; PREVENTION STRATEGY

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: PhD Candidate, China Medical University, Department of Public Health, Taichung, Taiwan 2: Associate Professor, China Medical University, Department of Public Health, Taichung, Taiwan;, Email: [email protected] 3: Full Investigator, National Health Research Institutes, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Miaoli, Taiwan 4: Professor, Department of Healthcare Administration, Asia University, Wufeng, Taiwan 5: Associate Dean, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Department of Nursing, Taichung, Taiwan 6: Assistant Professor, School of Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan

Publication date: 2017-05-01

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

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