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ADHD, Learning Issues May Be Linked to Secondhand Smoke
Date:7/11/2011

e and education levels of parents.

The researchers estimated that secondhand smoke may be responsible for 274,100 extra cases of the three types of disorders examined.

Older children, particularly those between 9 and 11 years old, boys and poor children were most at risk of developing the disorders as a result of smoke exposure, the researchers found.

Children with smoke exposure at home were also more likely to receive behavioral counseling or treatment, which greatly increases health care costs, the survey found.

"Parents should consider banning smoking from their homes," Alpert said.

No only are children vulnerable because of their physiology, "they're also vulnerable because they do not necessarily have the choice about being exposed to smoke or not," he added.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, secondhand smoke has been linked to increased severity of asthma in 200,000 to 1 million children and 150,000-300,000 lower respiratory tract infections in babies. Secondhand smoke is also linked to increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

Based on the survey results, the researchers concluded that about 4.8 million U.S. children under the age of 12 live in homes with a smoker, which is slightly less than previous estimates.

More information

For more on secondhand smoke, visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

SOURCES: Hillel R. Alpert, ScM, research scientist, Center for Global Tobacco Control, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston; July 11, 2011, online, Pediatrics


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