For children with asthma, being exposed to second-hand smoke in the home means double the risk of winding up in the hospital, a new survey of studies suggests.
Writing in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, researchers reviewed 25 studies investigating second-hand smoking exposure for more than 430,000 children. Of those studies, the vast majority (96%) looked at smoking in the home. The researchers concluded that, for children with asthma, exposure to smoke in their own homes nearly doubled the risk of hospitalization.
“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,” said allergist Avni Joshi, MD, ACAAI member and senior author of the article.
The reasons for the spike in risk are myriad, but the researchers suggested that because of the immaturity of their lungs and immune systems, children are more sensitive to the toxins in cigarette smoke than adults.
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