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Effects of maternal smoking during pregnancy and a family history of asthma on respiratory function in newborn infants

journal contribution
posted on 1996-10-19, 00:00 authored by S M Stick, P R Burton, L Gurrin, Peter Sly, P N LeSouëf
Introduction. Infants of mothers who smoke have reduced respiratory function and are more likely to develop wheezing. Little evidence is available on the effect of in-utero cigarette-smoke exposure as opposed to postnatal exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. We used a previously validated non-invasive method to measure the time to peak tidal expiratory flow (tPTEF) as a proportion of expiratory time (tE) in newborn infants soon after birth to examine the effects of a family history of asthma and in-utero cigarette-smoke exposure on the infants' respiratory function. Methods. We collected respiratory-function data from 500 healthy infants of mothers taking part in the Western Australia Pregnancy Cohort Study. During behaviourally defined quiet sleep, measurements were obtained a median of 58 h (range 26-159) after the infants were born. We used uncalibrated inductance plethysmography. The uncalibrated volume signal was differentiated to flow and used to calculate respiratory rate, total inspiratory time, tE, and tPTEF. Mothers answered questionnaires on demographic, medical, and pregnancy characteristics, including smoking history. Serum cotinine measurements were available to validate self-reported smoking history in a subset of mothers (238). Results. Data suitable for analysis were obtained from 461 infants. In multivariate regression analysis, lower values of tPTEF/tE were independently associated with respiratory rate (β coefficient per 10 breaths/min 0.018 [SE 0.005], p < 0.01), age (β coefficient per 10 h -0.008 [0.003], p < 0.01), maternal smoking during pregnancy (> 10 cigarettes daily; β coefficient -0.049 [0.022], p < 0.05), maternal hypertension during pregnancy (-0.037 [0.015], p < 0.02), and a family history of asthma (-0.028 [0.014], p < 0 05). Conclusions. In-utero smoke exposure, a family history of asthma, and maternal hypertension during pregnancy are associated with reduced respiratory function after birth. We speculate that these factors adversely affect lung development in utero.

History

Journal

Lancet

Volume

348

Issue

9034

Pagination

1060 - 1064

ISSN

0140-6736

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