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Study confirms that living with a smoker increases absenteeism in school children
Date:9/4/2011

rointestinal illness during the preceding two weeks
  • whether the child had been disgnosed with asthma, and if so, whether the child had any recent asthma attacks

    Of the 3,087 children whose information was analyzed for this study, more than 14 percent lived in a home with at least one person who smoked in the house 8 percent lived with one household smoker and 6 percent with two or more which represents 2.6 million children nationwide. Children living with one in-home smoker had an average of 1.06 more days absent, and those living with two or more had 1.54 more days absent than did children living in homes where no one smoked indoors.

    Illnesses associated with exposure to tobacco smoke including ear infections and chest colds accounted for 24 percent of absences in children living in homes where one person smoked indoors and 34 percent for those living in homes with at least two in-home smokers. Household smoking did not increase gastrointestinal illness, and while there also was no association with an asthma diagnosis or asthma attacks, the study sample may have included too few children with asthma to reflect smoke exposure's known role as an asthma trigger.

    The researchers also calculated the potential costs associated with the need to care for children absent from school due to smoke-exposure related illness costs including lost income for parents without paid time off, the costs to employers of the lost work, and the inability of caregivers not employed outside the home to take care of usual household tasks. "The total impact nationwide was $227 million in lost wages and household work for the families of the 2.6 million children living with smokers and for their employers," Levy says. "Since almost half of the smoking households in our study had low incomes, that impact may be strongest on households least able to afford it."

    He adds, "The health impact of living with a smoker is probably more extensi
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  • Contact: Katie Marquedant
    kmarquedant@partners.org
    617-726-0337
    Massachusetts General Hospital
    Source:Eurekalert

    Page: 1 2 3

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