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Pediatr Pulmonol. 1995 Jan;19(1):23-8.

Effect of maternal smoking during pregnancy on passive respiratory mechanics in early infancy.

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Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02118, USA.


We studied the effect of prenatal maternal cigarette smoking on passive expiratory mechanics in 53 healthy infants tested early in infancy (mean +/- SD, 5.1 +/- 1.5 weeks). Maternal smoking was measured by: 1) questionnaire reports of the number of cigarettes smoked per day; and 2) urine cotinine concentrations (corrected for creatinine) at each visit. Respiratory system mechanics were assessed by the single-breath occlusion-passive-flow-volume maneuver. In ten infants born to smoking mothers the time constant of the respiratory system was 23% reduced [0.34 vs. 0.44 s; 95% confidence interval (CI), -45% + 1%; P = 0.06]. This was related to an estimated 13% decrease in respiratory system compliance (4.86 vs. 5.62 mL/cmH2O; 95%CI, -33% + 6%; P = 0.18) and a 10% reduction in respiratory system resistance (0.073 vs. 0.081 cm H2O/mL/s; 95%CI, -42% + 22%; P = 0.56). Functional residual capacity (FRC), measured by helium-dilution, was also decreased by 13% (78 vs. 90 mL; 95%CI, -27% + 0.3%; P = 0.06) in smoke-exposed infants. Forced expiratory flow rates at FRC obtained by thoraco-abdominal compression were reduced by 28% in infants of smoking mothers (VFRC, 99 vs. 138 mL/s; 95%CI, -54% + 2%; P = 0.04) as reported previously in a larger sample from this population. This study was limited by small numbers of infants exposed to smoking during pregnancy and by ethnic imbalance among the smoking-exposed and unexposed groups.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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