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Maternal smoking

Mothers who have smoked, adversely affected their offspring's lung function, as they grew older.

health and fitness Updated: Feb 18, 2004 21:40 IST

In a new finding, researchers reveal that mothers who have smoked, adversely affected their offspring's lung function, as they grew older, in at least three major ways.

According to the researchers, maternal smoking lowers lung function whether the offspring personally smoke or not and is also associated with greater smoking intensity in their children and less ability to quit by those who have taken up smoking.

They also concluded that maternal smoking behavior appeared to synergize with their offspring's personal smoking to increase airflow limitation and the likelihood of developing Chronic Obstruction Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

British researchers looked at 2,000 adult offspring, ages 30 to 59, from 1,477 families who had participated in a 1972 to 1976 population study on smoking. There were 884 male and 1,116 female offspring involved in the study.

In the group, there were 949 never smokers, 552 former smokers, and 499 current smokers. The authors were trying to determine whether maternal and personal smoking synergized to increase airflow limitation in the offspring.

For their analysis, the duration and intensity of personal smoking was set at 25 years and 20 cigarettes per day. The effect of 10 cigarettes per day maternal smoking on airflow limitation was numerically equivalent to 10 years of personal smoking.

The investigators pointed out that in ever smokers, the risk of prevalent COPD increased 1.7 per 10 cigarettes per day maternal smoking.