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Prev Med. 1996 Sep-Oct;25(5):617-24.

Effects of environmental tobacco smoke on serum levels of acute phase proteins in schoolchildren.

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Department of Public Health, Chiba University School of Medicine, Japan.



Few biological changes due to long-term exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) have been identified. This study examined the relationship between exposure to ETS and serum levels of acute phase proteins among children.


The concentrations of the third component of complement (C3c), haptoglobin (Hp), alpha 1 acid glycoprotein (alpha 1AG), and ceruloplasmin (Cp) were determined in serum samples obtained from 480 school-children. Exposure to ETS was assessed from responses to questionnaires.


Serum levels of C3c, Hp, and alpha 1AG were significantly higher among boys living in households in which there were smokers other than their parents than among boys with no smokers in their family or those in households were only the father smoked. Levels of C3c, Hp, and alpha 1AG in relation to the level of ETS exposure were significantly increased among boys exposed to ETS of 11 or more cigarettes per day. Among girls, increased alpha 1AG levels were associated with exposure to high levels of ETS, but no differences were found in any of the other proteins. Cp levels were not affected by exposure to ETS among either boys or girls.


These findings suggest that the serum levels of C3c, Hp, and alpha 1AG among schoolchildren may reflect different levels of exposure to ETS. Boys seemed to be more susceptible to ETS exposure than girls.

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