University of Cincinnati Study Finds Gender Differences in Harmful Effects of Secondhand Smoke

Scientists at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine have found that secondhand smoke from cigarettes is more harmful to young girls than it is to young boys.

Epidemiologists with the university’s Cincinnati Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution Study (CCAAPS), funded by the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), found that children exposed to high levels of secondhand smoke who also had allergic sensitizations during early childhood (age 2) are at greater risk for decreased lung function at age 7 compared to children who had not developed allergic sensitizations by this age.

Additionally, lung function among girls was six times worse than in boys who were exposed to similar levels of both secondhand smoke and allergen sensitization.

“Our results provide valuable information regarding the interwoven relationships between early-life exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke, allergic sensitization, gender and lung function,” says Grace LeMasters, professor of environmental health at the University of Cincinnati and principal investigator of the CCAAPS.

The research was published on the website of the journal, Pediatric Allergy and Immunology.

Filed Under: Research/Study

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