Smoking and Pregnancy – Second hand smoke increases the risk of SIDS and asthma

A UK report draws attention to the dangers of passive smoking for young children. Mothers who smoke double the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (cot death) (odds ratio 2.08) and if both parents smoke the odds ratio rises to 3.79 Parental smoking increases the risk of asthma attacks and respiratory symptoms in schoolchildren, although at a lower risk than for infants. Maternal smoking had a greater effect than paternal smoking. The pooled odds ratio where children were exposed to two parents smoking were 1.52 for asthma exacerbation, 1.40 for wheeze and 1.61 for cough. (i.e. 61 percent risk increase over that of a baby with neither parent smoking).

Source: The Observer, 1/3/98

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