Contact with secondhand smoke in childhood increases the later risk of COPD

Contact with secondhand smoke in childhood increases the later risk of COPD

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How does passive smoking affect children in later life?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a disease that unfortunately affects more and more people around the world. Researchers have now found that the risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in adults is massively increased if they were raised by smoking parents as children.

The American Cancer Society's scientists found in their current study that passive smoking in childhood increases the risk that affected adults will develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal "American Journal of Preventive Medicine".

Passive smoking in childhood can lead to death in adulthood

Adult non-smokers have an increased risk of dying from severe lung disease if they grew up with smoking parents. So-called passive smoking in childhood is probably responsible for seven deaths per 100,000 non-smoking adults per year, according to the authors of the study.

70,900 people took part in the study

70,900 participants were examined for the study. The subjects were composed of non-smoking women and men. The results suggest that parents should quit smoking to protect their children from lung cancer and other illnesses.

Living with smokers has a negative impact on health

Of course, it also had a negative effect if the participants lived with a smoker during adulthood. The health consequences influenced the likelihood of developing certain diseases. Smoking 10 hours or more a week increases the risk of death from ischemic heart disease by 27 percent, stroke by 23 percent, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by 42 percent compared to people who did not live with smokers .

The effects of passive smoking go far beyond childhood

The subjects in the study were asked about their smoke exposure throughout their lives, and their health was also medically monitored over the next 22 years. The results showed that secondhand smoke has a lasting effect beyond childhood, the experts explain. The best way to protect children is if parents just quit smoking. However, it is not easy for many people to quit smoking. It is therefore important to ensure that all those affected, especially smoking parents of young children and smoking pregnant women, receive the help they need to quit smoking.

Passive smoking can cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Children whose parents smoke are known to have an increased risk of asthma and poor lung development. The study shows that the effects of smoke exposure in childhood continue into adulthood, which can lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Although the researchers focused on existing mortality risks, they also emphasized that secondhand smoke can increase chronic illnesses and addiction to health benefits later in life.

Second-hand smoke pollution must be reduced

This is the first study to identify a link between exposure of children to passive smoking and death from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in middle age and beyond, explains study author Dr. Ryan Diver from the American Cancer Society. The results provide further evidence that second-hand smoke pollution should be reduced for life, the expert said. (as)

Author and source information

Video: The Impact of Smoking and Secondhand Smoke During Pregnancy? Judith A. Groner, MD (January 2023).