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1.  Maternal smoking during pregnancy, environmental tobacco smoke exposure and childhood lung function 
Thorax  2000;55(4):271-276.
BACKGROUND—Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) during childhood and in utero exposure to maternal smoking are associated with adverse effects on lung growth and development.
METHODS—A study was undertaken of the associations between maternal smoking during pregnancy, exposure to ETS, and pulmonary function in 3357 school children residing in 12 Southern California communities. Current and past exposure to household ETS and exposure to maternal smoking in utero were assessed by a self-administered questionnaire completed by parents of 4th, 7th, and 10th grade students in 1993.Standard linear regression techniques were used to estimate the effects of in utero and ETS exposure on lung function, adjusting for age, sex, race, Hispanic ethnicity, height, weight, asthma, personal smoking, and selected household characteristics.
RESULTS—In utero exposure to maternal smoking was associated with reduced peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) (-3.0%, 95% CI -4.4 to -1.4), mean mid expiratory flow (MMEF) (-4.6%, 95% CI -7.0 to -2.3), and forced expiratory flow (FEF75) (-6.2%, 95% CI -9.1 to -3.1), but not forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1). Adjusting for household ETS exposure did not substantially change these estimates. The reductions in flows associated with in utero exposure did not significantly vary with sex, race, grade, income, parental education, or personal smoking. Exposure to two or more current household smokers was associated with reduced MMEF (-4.1%, 95% CI -7.6 to -0.4) and FEF75 (-4.4%, 95% CI -9.0 to 0.4). Current or past maternal smoking was associated with reductions in PEFR and MMEF; however, after adjustment for in utero exposure, deficits in MMEF and FEF75 associated with all measurements of ETS were substantially reduced and were not statistically significant.
CONCLUSIONS—In utero exposure to maternal smoking is independently associated with decreased lung function in children of school age, especially for small airway flows.


doi:10.1136/thorax.55.4.271
PMCID: PMC1745733  PMID: 10722765
2.  Air pollution and daily hospital admissions in metropolitan Los Angeles. 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2000;108(5):427-434.
We used daily time-series analysis to evaluate associations between ambient carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter [less than and equal to] 10 microm in aerodynamic diameter (PM(10)), or ozone concentrations, and hospital admissions for cardiopulmonary illnesses in metropolitan Los Angeles during 1992-1995. We performed Poisson regressions for the entire patient population and for subgroups defined by season, region, or personal characteristics, allowing for effects of temporal variation, weather, and autocorrelation. CO showed the most consistently significant (p<0.05) relationships to cardiovascular admissions. A wintertime 25th-75th percentile increase in CO (1.1-2.2 ppm) predicted an increase of 4% in cardiovascular admissions. NO(2), and, to a lesser extent, PM(10) tracked CO and showed similar associations with cardiovascular disease, but O(3) was negatively or nonsignificantly associated. No significant demographic differences were found, although increased cardiovascular effects were suggested in diabetics, in whites and blacks (relative to Hispanics and Asians), and in persons older than 65 years of age. Pulmonary disease admissions associated more with NO(2) and PM(10) than with CO. Pulmonary effects were generally smaller than cardiovascular effects and were more sensitive to the choice of model. We conclude that in Los Angeles, atmospheric stagnation with high primary (CO/NO(2)/PM(10)) pollution, most common in autumn/winter, increases the risk of hospitalization for cardiopulmonary illness. Summer photochemical pollution (high O(3)) apparently presents less risk.
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PMCID: PMC1638060  PMID: 10811569
3.  Air pollution and bronchitic symptoms in Southern California children with asthma. 
Environmental Health Perspectives  1999;107(9):757-760.
The association of air pollution with the prevalence of chronic lower respiratory tract symptoms among children with a history of asthma or related symptoms was examined in a cross-sectional study. Parents of a total of 3,676 fourth, seventh, and tenth graders from classrooms in 12 communities in Southern California completed questionnaires that characterized the children's histories of respiratory illness and associated risk factors. The prevalences of bronchitis, chronic phlegm, and chronic cough were investigated among children with a history of asthma, wheeze without diagnosed asthma, and neither wheeze nor asthma. Average ambient annual exposure to ozone, particulate matter (PM(10) and PM(2.5); [less than/equal to] 10 microm and < 2.5 microm in aerodynamic diameter, respectively), acid vapor, and nitrogen dioxide (NO(2)) was estimated from monitoring stations in each community. Positive associations between air pollution and bronchitis and phlegm were observed only among children with asthma. As PM(10) increased across communities, there was a corresponding increase in the risk per interquartile range of bronchitis [odds ratio (OR) 1.4/19 microg/m(3); 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.1-1.8). Increased prevalence of phlegm was significantly associated with increasing exposure to all ambient pollutants except ozone. The strongest association was for NO(2), based on relative risk per interquartile range in the 12 communities (OR 2.7/24 ppb; CI, 1.4-5.3). The results suggest that children with a prior diagnosis of asthma are more likely to develop persistent lower respiratory tract symptoms when exposed to air pollution in Southern California.
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PMCID: PMC1566453  PMID: 10464077

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