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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2013 Mar;131(3):730-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2013.01.005. Epub 2013 Feb 4.

Maternal smoking affects lung function and airway inflammation in young children with multiple-trigger wheeze.

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Department of Allergy, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.



Exposure to tobacco smoke is a well-known risk factor for childhood asthma and reduced lung function, but the effect on airway inflammation in preschool-aged children is unclear.


To examine the effect of parental smoking on lung function and fractional concentration of exhaled nitric oxide (Feno) in relation to both parental reports and children's urine cotinine concentrations in preschool-aged children with multiple-trigger wheeze.


A total of 105 3- to 7-year-old children with multiple-trigger wheeze and lung function abnormalities were recruited. Lung function was assessed by impulse oscillometry, and Feno measurements were performed. Exposure to tobacco smoke was determined by parental reports and measurement of children's urinary cotinine concentrations.


Forty-three percent of the children were exposed to environmental tobacco smoke according to parental reports. The Feno level was significantly higher in children with a smoking mother (n = 27) than in children with a nonsmoking mother (23.4 vs 12.5 ppb, P = .006). The Feno level expressed as z score and the cotinine level correlated significantly (P = .03). Respiratory resistance at 5 Hz was higher in children exposed to maternal smoking than in others (0.99 vs 0.88 kPas/L, P = .005). Urinary cotinine concentrations reflected well parental reports on their daily smoking and increased relative to the number of cigarettes smoked in the family (P < .01). Atopy was found in 75% of the children, but it was not associated with the Feno value (P = .65).


Maternal smoking was associated with increased Feno value and poorer lung function in steroid-naive preschool children with multiple-trigger wheeze. Larger controlled trials are needed to generalize the results.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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