The risk for hospital admission doubles for children with asthma who are exposed to second-hand smoke, according to a US study.
It adds to previous evidence linking second-hand smoke exposure with increased asthma prevalence, poorer asthma control and increased symptoms.
“A child is twice as likely to end up in the hospital with an asthma flare if family members continue to smoke”
The researchers reviewed of 25 studies looking at smoking exposure at home. More than 430,000 children were included in the review, with a mean age of 7.6 years.
They found the risk of children with asthma who were exposed to second hand smoke at home had nearly double the risk of being admitted as children with asthma not exposed to smoking at home.
Study author Dr Avni Joshi, paediatric allergist and immunologist at Mayo Clinic Children’s Center, said: “The results of this review serve as a reminder to parents of just how dangerous it is to expose their children to second-hand smoke.
“We knew that kids should not be exposed to tobacco, but how bad their asthma is likely to be with tobacco exposure was not clear,” she said. “This study helped us quantify that risk, and so it informs as well as empowers us with the risk assessment.
“A child is twice as likely to end up in the hospital with an asthma flare if family members continue to smoke,” she stated.
Dr Joshi said the findings should act as encouragement for parents to make lifestyle changes and attempt to quit smoking.
The study was published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Lead study author Zhen Wang added: “Previous studies have linked second-hand smoke exposure with increased asthma prevalence, poorer asthma control and increased symptoms.
“We wanted to quantify the strength of the association, and to show just how much greater the risk is of hospitalisation for kids with asthma who are exposed to SHS in the home.”