The impact of pre- and post-natal smoke exposure on future asthma and bronchial hyper-responsiveness.Acta Paediatr. 2007 Jul; 96(7):1030-5.AP
To analyse the impact of pre- and post-natal smoke exposure on asthma presence, bronchial hyper-responsiveness, airway function and active smoking in early adulthood.
We have prospectively studied 101 children hospitalized due to wheezing before the age of 2 years. The cohort was re-investigated at age 17-20 years and tested for airway function and bronchial hyper-responsiveness. Data on maternal smoking during pregnancy were obtained from the Swedish Medical Birth Register.
There was a significant, independent correlation between both pre- and post-natal smoke exposure and asthma at age 17-20 years, OR 3.5 (1.1-11.3) and 3.4 (1.2-10.1), respectively. Maternal smoking during pregnancy was an independent risk factor for current bronchial hyper-responsiveness, OR 6.6 (1.2-35.5). Pre-natal smoke exposure seemed to negatively affect small airway function in early adulthood due to structural changes. Post-natal smoke exposure was independently associated with an increased risk of current smoking, OR 7.4 (1.6-35.2).
In subjects hospitalized due to early wheezing, pre- and post-natal smoke exposure increase the risk of asthma in early adulthood. The connection between pre-natal smoke exposure and asthma appears to be mediated via the development of bronchial hyper-responsiveness. Smoke exposure in infancy is associated with an increased risk of active smoking in early adult age, which is in turn linked to current asthma.