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Exposure to tobacco smoke in childhood home associated with early emphysema in adulthood
Date:12/28/2009

t childhood ETS exposure affects perinatal and childhood health outcomes, and that adult exposure may affect adult respiratory health outcomes, including lung function and respiratory symptoms.

Although childhood ETS was not associated with adult lung function in this healthy population, this does not contradict the results for early emphysema, since airflow obstruction and anatomic damage are theoretically and clinically distinguishable. "However, emphysema may be a more sensitive measure of damage compared with lung function in this relatively healthy cohort,"

Dr. Lovasi notes. Combined emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are projected to become the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2020.

The exposure information in this study does not provide information on the timing of ETS exposure during childhood, making it difficult to distinguish as exposure in utero. "The association between childhood ETS and early emphysema among participants whose mothers did not smoke, suggests that the effect we are detecting is for smoke exposure in the home during childhood rather than in utero exposure alone," observed Dr. Lovasi.


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Contact: Stephanie Berger
sb2247@columbia.edu
212-305-4372
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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