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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


PEREIRA, Eanes DB; TORRES, Luiza; MACEDO, João  and  MEDEIROS, Marta MC. Effects of environmental tobacco smoke on lower respiratory system of children under 5 years old. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2000, vol.34, n.1, pp.39-43. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the effects of second-hand smoke in the respiratory system of children under 5 years old. METHODS: A cross sectional study of a total of 1,104 children under 5 years old. Information about respiratory symptoms and illness, family history of respiratory diseases, smoking habits of household members and housing conditions were assessed by home interviews with the children's parents. RESULTS: We studied 546 boys and 558 girls. Among 611 children exposed to second-hand smoke, 82% had respiratory problems (odds ratio = 1.64; 95% confidence interval: 1.21-2.20). Children whose parents were smokers at the time of the survey were more likely to experience wheezing than children of nonsmoking parents (odds ratio = 1.66; 95% confidence interval: 1.21-2.27), shortness of breath (odds ratio = 1.91; 95% confidence interval: 1.36-2.67), morning and day time or night coughs (odds ratio = 1.58; 95% confidence interval: 1.09-2.28). The odds ratio for asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia was greater for children exposed to second-hand smoke (odds ratio = 1.60; 95% confidence interval: 1.11-2.31). CONCLUSIONS: Maternal smoking, paternal smoking, family history of respiratory diseases, and housing conditions are considered risk factors for respiratory diseases in children.

Keywords : Respiratory tract [etiology]; Tobaco smoke polution; Morbidity.

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