Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes inflammation and narrowing of the airways, leading to breathing difficulties. It is a common condition, affecting around 300 million people worldwide.
There is evidence that smoking tobacco increases the risk of developing asthma, and now a new study has found that second-hand smoke may also be a contributory factor.
The research, which is published in the journal Thorax, looked at data from over 1,000 adults in the UK. The participants were asked about their exposure to second-hand smoke, both as children and as adults, as well as whether they had asthma.
The findings showed that those who had been exposed to second-hand smoke as children were more likely to have asthma as adults, even after taking into account other factors such as family history, smoking history and social class.
What’s more, the risk was even greater for those who had been exposed to second-hand smoke both as children and as adults.
The study’s lead author, Dr Rachel Jarvis, said that the findings “support the role of tobacco smoke in the development of asthma” and added that they “provide further evidence that smoking is not only harmful to the smoker, but also to those around them”.
There are a number of mechanisms by which second-hand smoke could increase the risk of developing asthma. For example, it has been shown to damage the lining of the airways, which could lead to inflammation and breathing difficulties.
The findings of this latest study highlight the importance of protecting non-smokers from exposure to tobacco smoke. This includes not smoking in enclosed public spaces, such as bars and restaurants, and making sure that homes and cars are smoke-free.
Children exposed to second-hand smoke may be at increased risk for developing asthma, according to a new study.
The study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, found that children of parents who smoke are more likely to have asthma than those whose parents do not smoke.
“This study provides strong evidence that second-hand smoke exposure during childhood increases the risk of asthma,” said study author Dr. Ümit Aktas, of the University of Greifswald in Germany.
Previous studies have shown that second-hand smoke exposure is a risk factor for asthma, but the new study is the first to show that the risk may be passed on to future generations.
“Our findings suggest that the effects of second-hand smoke exposure are not limited to the individual who is exposed, but may also affect future generations,” said Aktas.
The study looked at data from the German Asthma Cohort, which includes more than 6,000 children. The authors used a computer model to simulate the effect of second-hand smoke exposure on the children’s risk of asthma.
They found that children of parents who smoke have a 50% increased risk of asthma, even if they are not exposed to second-hand smoke themselves.
“This study provides further evidence of the harmful effects of second-hand smoke and underscores the importance of efforts to reduce exposure to second-hand smoke,” said Aktas.