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Passive smoking in asthmatic children: Effect of a "smokefree house" measured by urinary cotinine levels

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Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) decreases pulmonary function and increases both airway reactivity and frequency of child asthma exacerbations. True exposure is related not only to parents smoking and to the number of cigarettes that they smoke, but also to involuntary smoking in public places. The aim of this study was to evaluate, by measuring urinary cotinine levels, the exposure to ETS in asthmatic children and the contribution of unapparent smoke exposure. Twenty asthmatic children (aged 7–12 years) were evaluated on the 1st day (T0) and after a week (T1) in a "smoke-free house." The mean level of urinary cotinine in children was 15.8 ± 2.7 ng/mg of creatinine at T0 and 4.2 ± 0.6 ng/mg of creatinine at T1 (p < 0.0001). The urinary cotinine concentrations were higher in children living with smoking parents (21.8 ± 3.4 ng/mg creatinine) compared with children not exposed to parental smoke (6.8 ± 3.0 ng/mg creatinine; p = 0.017). The number of cigarettes smoked by parents correlates with the urinary cotinine levels (p = 0.005; r = 0.64). Urinary cotinine levels significantly decreased after the avoidance of ETS in children exposed to parental smoke (21.8 ± 3.4 ng/mg at T0; 5.0 ± 0.8 ng/mg at T1; p < 0.001) and also in children whose parents declared to be nonsmokers (6.8 ± 1.2 ng/mg at T0; 3.0± 0.8 ng/mg at T1; p = 0.006). Our data confirm the widespread indirect and undetected tobacco smoke exposure in children with chronic asthma and the relevance of an evaluation with an objective method of the exposure to second-hand smoke.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma and by having the potential to directly impact the quality of patient care. AAP welcomes the submission of original works including peer-reviewed original research and clinical trial results. Additionally, as the official journal of the Eastern Allergy Conference (EAC), AAP will publish content from EAC poster sessions as well as review articles derived from EAC lectures.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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