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60-Second Health

Secondhand Smoke Exposure Doubled Asthmatic Kids' Hospital Readmissions

A study of more than 600 asthmatic children at one Ohio hospital found that if the kids’ saliva tested positive for markers of nicotine exposure, the children were about twice as likely to be readmitted over the next year for breathing issues. Dina Fine Maron reports

 

If your child has asthma, it’s a good idea to put your smokes away. Now a study finds that asthmatic children exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to make repeat trips to the ER with breathing problems.
 
Researchers scoured data from 619 children admitted to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center for breathing issues in 2010 and 2011. The research team found that if the kids’ saliva tested positive for markers of nicotine exposure, the children were about twice as likely to be readmitted over the next year for future breathing issues.  In total, about 17 percent of the kids in the study winded up being admitted to the hospital again in the next twelve months. The study was published in the journal Pediatrics. [Judie A. Howrylak et al., Cotinine in Children Admitted for Asthma and Readmission]
 
The saliva of children brought to the hospital for asthma or wheezing revealed that about 80 percent had been exposed to tobacco smoke. Many caregivers claimed that their kids were not in the presence of smoke. But the saliva and blood tests on the children suggested otherwise.  So if you want to protect your child, it’s time to stop blowing smoke.

—Dina Fine Maron

[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]

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