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Acta Paediatr. 2006 Mar;95(3):283-90.

Impact of repeated lifestyle counselling in an atherosclerosis prevention trial on parental smoking and children's exposure to tobacco smoke.

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Research Centre of Applied and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.



To determine whether repeated infancy-onset lifestyle counselling alters parental smoking and children's exposure to tobacco smoke.


In 1990, 1062 healthy infants were recruited to a randomized, ongoing atherosclerosis prevention trial (STRIP). Intervention families received at least twice a year individualized nutrition and lifestyle counselling. By 1999, 652 8-y-old children continued participation. Exposure to tobacco smoke was evaluated using serum cotinine concentration. Parents' smoking was also assessed using questionnaires and interviews.


Parents' smoking decreased during the study similarly in the intervention and control groups. Of the 8-y-old children, 46% had detectable serum cotinine concentration, suggesting exposure to tobacco smoke during the past few days. All children were non-smokers. Serum cotinine concentrations did not differ between the intervention and control children. Children's cotinine values were highest in the families where either father or both parents were smokers.


Participation in the atherosclerosis prevention trial slightly decreased smoking among the intervention and control parents. However, counselling led to no differences in parental smoking between the two groups, or in exposure of the intervention and control children to tobacco smoke. This study suggests that more detailed and targeted intervention is required to achieve a significant effect on children's tobacco smoke exposure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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