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Minerva Pneumologica 2008 March;47(1):1-10


language: English

Exposure to parental smoking and chronic respiratory diseases among eigth graders in a province of Central Italy

Mattei A., Angelone A. M., Cialfi D., Sbarbati M., Pendenza M., Cesare B., Di Orio F.

Department of Internal Medicine and Public Health Faculty of Medicine University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy

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Aim. The relationship between passive smoking and inflammatory chronic respiratory diseases both in children and in teenagers represents a widely debated theme. Exposure to passive smoking is an important worldwide public health issue and preventing young people to beginning to smoke is a major priority. This paper describes the diffusion of parental smoking habit in a province of Central Italy and the associations with respiratory illness and symptoms in adolescents.
Methods. Standardised questionnaires were administered to 13-14 year-old students and their parents, following a protocol adopted by the international survey “International Studies of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood” and by Italian Studies on Respiratory Disorders in Children and the Environment. Data survey has been conducted in a random sample of adolescents attending the eighth grade classes schools of L’Aquila.
Results. The prevalence rate of current smoking is 26.76% and 35.46%, respectively for mothers and fathers, while the percentage of ex-smokers is 12.41% and 24.72%; parents who smoke have mostly a low level of education. Paternal current smoking increased the risk of lifetime asthma among adolescents, and all the other described lifetime respiratory symptoms. Maternal smoking increased the risk of past and current wheezing.
Conclusion. The prevalence of bronchitis in the first two years of life is higher among adolescents whose parents smoke (odds ratio [OR] 1.69 for fathers vs OR 2.93 for mothers), moreover bronchitis in the first two years of life increas the risk of suffering from current asthma and wheezing.

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