LOS ANGELES, April 11 - A child whose grandmother smoked while pregnant may have double the risk of developing childhood asthma as a child whose grandmother did not smoke, according to researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC).
Published in the April issue of the journal Chest, the study suggests that tobacco's harmful effects on the lungs can be passed down through generations, from grandmother to grandchild, even when the child's mother appears unaffected.
"This is the first study to show that if a woman smokes while she is pregnant, both her children and grandchildren may be more likely to have asthma as a result," said the study's senior author, Frank D. Gilliland, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine. "The findings suggest that smoking could have a longer-lasting impact on families' health than we had ever realized."
Keck School preventive medicine researchers interviewed parents or guardians of 908 Southern California children participating in the USC Children's Health Study, which includes children and teens recruited in grades 4, 7 and 10. Of the participants, 338 children had asthma by age 5, while another 570 children were asthma-free.
They found these results:
- Children whose mothers smoked while pregnant were one-and-a-half times more likely to develop asthma early in life than children whose mothers did not smoke while pregnant.
- Children whose grandmothers smoked were more than twice as likely (2.1 times) to develop asthma.
- Even if a child's mother did not smoke while she was pregnant-but the child's grandmother did-the child had nearly double the risk (1.8 times) of developing asthma.
- If both the mother and grandmother smoked while pregnant, a child was more than two-and-a-half times more likely (2.6 times) to develop asthma.
"We suspect that when a pregnant womanPage: 1 2 Related medicine news :1
Contact: Sarah Huoh
University of Southern California
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