• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of thoraxThoraxVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
Thorax. Apr 2004; 59(4): 295–302.
PMCID: PMC1763798

Parental smoking in childhood and adult obstructive lung disease: results from the European Community Respiratory Health Survey

Abstract

Background: Early exposure to parental smoking appears to influence the development of the airways and predispose to respiratory symptoms. A study was undertaken to determine whether the consequences of parental smoking could be traced in adulthood.

Methods: Information from interviewer-led questionnaires was available for 18 922 subjects aged 20–44 years from random population samples in 37 areas participating in the European Community Respiratory Health Survey. Lung function data were available for 15 901 subjects.

Results: In men, father's smoking in childhood was associated with more respiratory symptoms (ORwheeze 1.13 (95% CI 1.00 to 1.28); never smokers: ORwheeze 1.21 (95% CI 0.96 to 1.50)) and there was a dose-dependent association between number of parents smoking and wheeze (one: OR 1.08 (95% CI 0.94 to 1.24); both: OR 1.24 (95% CI 1.05 to 1.47); ptrend = 0.010). A reduced ratio of forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) to forced vital capacity (FVC) was related to father's smoking (-0.3% (95% CI -0.6 to 0)) and number of parents smoking (ptrend <0.001) among men. In women, mother's smoking was associated with more respiratory symptoms and poorer lung function (ORwheeze 1.15 (95% CI 1.01 to 1.31), never smokers: ORwheeze 1.21 (95% CI 0.98–1.51); FEV1 -24 ml (95% CI -45 to -3); FEV1/FVC ratio -0.6% (95% CI -0.9 to -0.3)). These effects were possibly accounted for by maternal smoking in pregnancy (ORwheeze 1.39 (95% CI 1.17 to 1.65); FEV1 -23 ml (95% CI -52 to 7); FEV1/FVC ratio -0.9% (95% CI -1.3 to -0.4)) as there was no association with paternal smoking among women (interaction by sex, p<0.05). These results were homogeneous across centres.

Conclusion: Both intrauterine and environmental exposure to parental tobacco smoking was related to more respiratory symptoms and poorer lung function in adulthood in this multicultural study. The age window of particular vulnerability appeared to differ by sex, postnatal exposure being important only in men and a role for prenatal exposure being more evident in women.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (308K).

Supplementary Material

[Web-only Table]

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Cook DG, Strachan DP. Health effects of passive smoking. 3. Parental smoking and prevalence of respiratory symptoms and asthma in school age children. Thorax. 1997 Dec;52(12):1081–1094. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Strachan DP, Cook DG. Health effects of passive smoking. 6. Parental smoking and childhood asthma: longitudinal and case-control studies. Thorax. 1998 Mar;53(3):204–212. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Rona RJ, Chinn S. Lung function, respiratory illness, and passive smoking in British primary school children. Thorax. 1993 Jan;48(1):21–25. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Stein RT, Holberg CJ, Sherrill D, Wright AL, Morgan WJ, Taussig L, Martinez FD. Influence of parental smoking on respiratory symptoms during the first decade of life: the Tucson Children's Respiratory Study. Am J Epidemiol. 1999 Jun 1;149(11):1030–1037. [PubMed]
  • Lødrup Carlsen KC, Jaakkola JJ, Nafstad P, Carlsen KH. In utero exposure to cigarette smoking influences lung function at birth. Eur Respir J. 1997 Aug;10(8):1774–1779. [PubMed]
  • Stick SM, Burton PR, Gurrin L, Sly PD, LeSouëf PN. Effects of maternal smoking during pregnancy and a family history of asthma on respiratory function in newborn infants. Lancet. 1996 Oct 19;348(9034):1060–1064. [PubMed]
  • Hanrahan JP, Tager IB, Segal MR, Tosteson TD, Castile RG, Van Vunakis H, Weiss ST, Speizer FE. The effect of maternal smoking during pregnancy on early infant lung function. Am Rev Respir Dis. 1992 May;145(5):1129–1135. [PubMed]
  • Tager IB, Ngo L, Hanrahan JP. Maternal smoking during pregnancy. Effects on lung function during the first 18 months of life. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1995 Sep;152(3):977–983. [PubMed]
  • Morgan WJ. Maternal smoking and infant lung function. Further evidence for an in utero effect. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1998 Sep;158(3):689–690. [PubMed]
  • Upton MN, Watt GC, Davey Smith G, McConnachie A, Hart CL. Permanent effects of maternal smoking on offsprings' lung function. Lancet. 1998 Aug 8;352(9126):453–453. [PubMed]
  • Masi MA, Hanley JA, Ernst P, Becklake MR. Environmental exposure to tobacco smoke and lung function in young adults. Am Rev Respir Dis. 1988 Aug;138(2):296–299. [PubMed]
  • Larsson ML, Frisk M, Hallström J, Kiviloog J, Lundbäck B. Environmental tobacco smoke exposure during childhood is associated with increased prevalence of asthma in adults. Chest. 2001 Sep;120(3):711–717. [PubMed]
  • Hu FB, Persky V, Flay BR, Richardson J. An epidemiological study of asthma prevalence and related factors among young adults. J Asthma. 1997;34(1):67–76. [PubMed]
  • Strachan DP, Butland BK, Anderson HR. Incidence and prognosis of asthma and wheezing illness from early childhood to age 33 in a national British cohort. BMJ. 1996 May 11;312(7040):1195–1199. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Gold DR, Wang X, Wypij D, Speizer FE, Ware JH, Dockery DW. Effects of cigarette smoking on lung function in adolescent boys and girls. N Engl J Med. 1996 Sep 26;335(13):931–937. [PubMed]
  • Prescott E, Bjerg AM, Andersen PK, Lange P, Vestbo J. Gender difference in smoking effects on lung function and risk of hospitalization for COPD: results from a Danish longitudinal population study. Eur Respir J. 1997 Apr;10(4):822–827. [PubMed]
  • Becklake MR, Kauffmann F. Gender differences in airway behaviour over the human life span. Thorax. 1999 Dec;54(12):1119–1138. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Polgar G, Weng TR. The functional development of the respiratory system from the period of gestation to adulthood. Am Rev Respir Dis. 1979 Sep;120(3):625–695. [PubMed]
  • Leynaert B, Bousquet J, Henry C, Liard R, Neukirch F. Is bronchial hyperresponsiveness more frequent in women than in men? A population-based study. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1997 Nov;156(5):1413–1420. [PubMed]
  • Burney PG, Luczynska C, Chinn S, Jarvis D. The European Community Respiratory Health Survey. Eur Respir J. 1994 May;7(5):954–960. [PubMed]
  • Burney P, Malmberg E, Chinn S, Jarvis D, Luczynska C, Lai E. The distribution of total and specific serum IgE in the European Community Respiratory Health Survey. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1997 Mar;99(3):314–322. [PubMed]
  • Roca J, Burgos F, Sunyer J, Saez M, Chinn S, Antó JM, Rodríguez-Roisin R, Quanjer PH, Nowak D, Burney P. References values for forced spirometry. Group of the European Community Respiratory Health Survey. Eur Respir J. 1998 Jun;11(6):1354–1362. [PubMed]
  • Chinn S, Burney P, Jarvis D, Luczynska C. Variation in bronchial responsiveness in the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS). Eur Respir J. 1997 Nov;10(11):2495–2501. [PubMed]
  • DerSimonian R, Laird N. Meta-analysis in clinical trials. Control Clin Trials. 1986 Sep;7(3):177–188. [PubMed]
  • Jenkins MA, Hopper JL, Bowes G, Carlin JB, Flander LB, Giles GG. Factors in childhood as predictors of asthma in adult life. BMJ. 1994 Jul 9;309(6947):90–93. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Escolar JD, Martínez MN, Rodríguez FJ, Gonzalo C, Escolar MA, Roche PA. Emphysema as a result of involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke: morphometrical study of the rat. Exp Lung Res. 1995 Mar-Apr;21(2):255–273. [PubMed]
  • Collins MH, Moessinger AC, Kleinerman J, Bassi J, Rosso P, Collins AM, James LS, Blanc WA. Fetal lung hypoplasia associated with maternal smoking: a morphometric analysis. Pediatr Res. 1985 Apr;19(4):408–412. [PubMed]
  • Wasowicz M, Zurawski P, Florek E, Seńczuk W, Biczysko W. Retardation of lung development after maternal cigarette smoking and low protein diet in animal model. Pol J Pathol. 1994;45(2):155–162. [PubMed]

Articles from Thorax are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group

Formats:

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...

Links

  • MedGen
    MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles
  • Substance
    Substance
    PubChem Substance links

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...