Monday, December 13, 2010 (Last Updated: 12/14/2010)
MONDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Smoke-free laws may reduce asthma symptoms in youths, and children in homes in which no one smokes indoors may have higher cotinine levels if they live in apartments compared to detached houses, according to research published online Dec. 13 in Pediatrics.
In the first study, Melanie S. Dove, of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues analyzed National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data from 1999 to 2006. They categorized survey locations by presence of smoke-free laws at the county or state level. Smoke-free laws were associated with lower odds of asthma symptoms (odds ratio, 0.67) in nonsmoking youths as well as a near-significant trend toward an association with ever having asthma with current symptoms (odds ratio, 0.74).
In the second study, Karen M. Wilson, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of Rochester in New York, and colleagues analyzed NHANES data from 2001 to 2006, including 5,002 children aged 6 to 18 in households in which no member smoked inside the home. Those who lived in apartments had 45 percent higher cotinine levels compared to those in detached houses. The increase was 212 percent in white children and 46 percent in black children.
"These results provide direct evidence for a background level of tobacco-smoke contamination in multiunit housing at levels associated with childhood morbidity. Ultimately, smoke-free multiunit housing could improve health status by reducing nonsmokers' exposure to tobacco smoke in their own units," Wilson and colleagues conclude.
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