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Study confirms association between tobacco smoke and behavioral problems in children
Date:12/9/2009

This release is available in German.

The scientists observed that the impact of tobacco smoke was especially detrimental during gestation. The results of the study have been published in the current online issue of the renowned journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

"We were able to show that children who are exposed to tobacco smoke prenatally and during the first years of life have a higher risk of developing abnormal behavioral symptoms when they are of school age," said Dr. Joachim Heinrich of the Institute of Epidemiology at Helmholtz Zentrum Mnchen. "Moreover, it makes a difference whether the child was exposed to tobacco smoke first after birth or was already confronted with it during prenatal development."

According to the study, children who were only exposed to tobacco smoke prenatally have a 1.9 times higher risk of developing abnormal behavioral symptoms in comparison to children without any exposure (change this if it is the wrong comparison). The risk for children first exposed to tobacco smoke after birth is 1.3 times higher. Furthermore, children who were exposed to tobacco smoke both while in the womb and while growing up doubled the risk of developing abnormal behavioral symptoms. Such symptoms include hyperactivity, attention deficits or problems in their relationships with peers. The results of the study were independent of affects from the social environment in which the children were growing up.

In the framework of the GINI-plus study, data of a large birth cohort comprising 5991 children and their parents was analyzed. Extensive studies will follow up on this study. "The value of our study is based not only on our prospective, investigative approach, but also on the comprehensiveness of our survey as to possible pollution levels for the unborn, infants and children at different times," Joachim He
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Contact: Sven Winkler
presse@helmholtz-muenchen.de
49-893-187-3946
Helmholtz Zentrum Mnchen - German Research Center for Environmental Health
Source:Eurekalert

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