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(1/1469) The role of domestic factors and day-care attendance on lung function of primary school children.

The results of studies examining the relationship of domestic factors to lung function are contradictory. We therefore examined the independent effects of maternal smoking during pregnancy, exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), the presence of a cat, type of heating and cooking used in the home and day-care attendance on lung function after controlling for socioeconomic status (SES). Nine hundred and eighty-nine children from 18 Montreal schools were studied between April 1990 and November 1992. Information on the child's health and exposure to domestic factors was collected by questionnaire. Spirometry was performed at school. The data were analysed by multiple linear regression with percent predicted FEV1, FVC, and FEV1/FVC as dependent variables. In the overall sample (both sexes combined), cat in the home (regression coefficient, beta = -1.15, 95% confidence interval, CI: -2.26-(-)0.05) and electric baseboard units (beta = -1.26, 95% CI: -2.39-(-)0.13) were independently associated with a lower FEV1/FVC, while day-care attendance (beta = -2.05, 95% CI: -3.71-(-)0.40) significantly reduced FEV1. Household ETS was significantly associated with increasing level of FVC (beta = 2.86, 95% CI: +0.55 to +5.17). In boys but not girls, household ETS (beta = -2.13, 95% CI: -4.07-(-)0.19) and the presence of a cat (beta = -2.19, 95% CI: -3.94-(-)0.45) were associated with lower FEV1/FVC. By contrast, day-care attendance was associated with lower FEV1 (beta = -2.92, 95% CI: -5.27-(-)0.56) and FEV1/FVC (beta = -1.53, 95% CI: -2.73-(-)0.33) in girls only. In conclusion, the results provide evidence that domestic factors and day-care attendance primarily affected airway caliber and gender differences were apparent in the effects of these factors.  (+info)

(2/1469) Immunosurgical studies on cytological and cytogenetic toxicity analysis of rat blastocysts after in vivo exposure to cyclophosphamide.

AIM: To establish immunosurgery and indices of cytogenetic assessment for blastocyst and its inner cell mass (ICM), and to evaluate the toxic effects after in vivo exposure to cyclophosphamide. METHODS: Modified immunosurgery was established by preparation of rabbit-anti-rat spleen antiserum and induction of diluted rat mixed serum as complement. Pregnant rats on d 3 of gestation were injected i.p. cyclophosphamide (10, 20, and 40 mg.kg-1). On d 4, immunosurgery was performed on rat blastocysts. The cell number and the micronuclei of blastocyst and ICM were evaluated respectively. RESULTS: In the cyclophosphamide-treated rats, decreases of cell number (35 +/- 3, 32 +/- 1, 30 +/- 1, and 14 +/- 2, 11 +/- 1, 9 +/- 2) and increases of frequency of micronuclei (1.81%, 2.27%, 3.14%, and 2.53%, 2.98%, 4.75%) in blastocysts and ICM were observed in a dose-related manner. The changes of blastocyst were, however, not parallel to those of ICM which were more serious. CONCLUSION: Modified immunosurgery, an objective and elegant technique, was used on rat blastocysts. In vivo could cyclophosphamide injured ICM more than blastocysts.  (+info)

(3/1469) Prenatal nicotine increases pulmonary alpha7 nicotinic receptor expression and alters fetal lung development in monkeys.

It is well established that maternal smoking during pregnancy is a leading preventable cause of low birth weight and prematurity. Less appreciated is that maternal smoking during pregnancy is also associated with alterations in pulmonary function at birth and greater incidence of respiratory illnesses after birth. To determine if this is the direct result of nicotine interacting with nicotinic cholinergic receptors (nAChRs) during lung development, rhesus monkeys were treated with 1 mg/kg/day of nicotine from days 26 to 134 of pregnancy. Nicotine administration caused lung hypoplasia and reduced surface complexity of developing alveoli. Immunohistochemistry and in situ alpha-bungarotoxin (alphaBGT) binding showed that alpha7 nAChRs are present in the developing lung in airway epithelial cells, cells surrounding large airways and blood vessels, alveolar type II cells, free alveolar macrophages, and pulmonary neuroendocrine cells (PNEC). As detected both by immunohistochemistry and by alphaBGT binding, nicotine administration markedly increased alpha7 receptor subunit expression and binding in the fetal lung. Correlating with areas of increased alpha7 expression, collagen expression surrounding large airways and vessels was significantly increased. Nicotine also significantly increased numbers of type II cells and neuroendocrine cells in neuroepithelial bodies. These findings demonstrate that nicotine can alter fetal monkey lung development by crossing the placenta to interact directly with nicotinic receptors on non-neuronal cells in the developing lung, and that similar effects likely occur in human infants whose mothers smoke during pregnancy.  (+info)

(4/1469) Twins and maternal smoking: ordeals for the fetal origins hypothesis? A cohort study.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the direct and indirect effects of being a twin, maternal smoking, birth weight, and mother's height on blood pressure at ages 9 and 18 years. DESIGN: Longitudinal study. SUBJECTS: Cohort born in 1972-3. SETTING: Dunedin, New Zealand. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Blood pressure at ages 9 and 18 years. RESULTS: Compared with singletons, twins had a systolic blood pressure 4.55 (95% confidence interval 1.57 to 7.52) mm Hg lower at age 9 after adjustment for direct and indirect effects of sex, maternal smoking, mother's height, socioeconomic status, and birth weight, as well as concurrent height and body mass index. Blood pressure in children whose mothers had smoked during pregnancy was 1.54 (0.46 to 2.62) mm Hg higher than in those whose mothers did not. The total effect of birth weight on systolic blood pressure at age 9 was -0.78 (-1.76 to 0.20) mm Hg and that for mother's height was 0.10 (0.06 to 0.14) mm Hg. Similar results were obtained for systolic blood pressure at age 18. The total effect of twins, maternal smoking, and birth weight on diastolic blood pressure was not significant at either age. CONCLUSIONS: Twins had lower birth weight and lower systolic blood pressure at ages 9 and 18 than singletons. This finding challenges the fetal origins hypothesis. The effect of maternal smoking was consistent with the fetal origin hypothesis in that the infants of smokers were smaller and had higher blood pressure at both ages. This may be explained by pharmacological rather than nutritional effects. The total effect of birth weight on systolic blood pressure, after its indirect effect working through concurrent measures of height and body mass index was taken into account, was small.  (+info)

(5/1469) Tobacco smoke exposure at one month of age and subsequent risk of SIDS--a prospective study.

The aim of this investigation was to identify the sources of postnatal exposure to tobacco smoke at 1 month of age and to examine their relation to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The Tasmanian Infant Health Survey was a prospective cohort study undertaken from 1988 to 1995. It involved 9,826 infants (89% of eligible infants) at higher risk of SIDS. Subsequently 53 eligible infants died of SIDS. Hospital interviews were available on 51 and home interviews on 35 SIDS infants. Urinary cotinine assays were conducted using gas-liquid chromatography (n = 100). Within a predictive model that explained 63% of urinary cotinine variance, the strongest predictor of cotinine and also of SIDS was maternal smoking, though the effects of prenatal and postnatal smoking could not be separated. However, for particular smoking-related behaviors, there was a discordance between prediction of cotinine concentration and prediction of risk of SIDS. If smoking mothers did not smoke in the room with the baby, the cotinine level in the infant's urine was reduced by a little more than a half (p = 0.009), but this was not associated with a reduction in SIDS risk (odds ratio = 1.09, 95% confidence interval 0.47-2.55). Similarly, the presence of other adult resident smokers was associated with a 63% increase in urinary cotinine (p = 0.047) but not with increased SIDS risk (odds ratio = 0.69, 95% confidence interval 0.34-1.40). However, the study lacked the power to detect modest effects, that is, those altering risk less than twofold.  (+info)

(6/1469) Fetal growth and maternal exposure to particulate matter during pregnancy.

Prior studies reported an association between ambient air concentrations of total suspended particles and SO2 during pregnancy and adverse pregnancy outcomes. We examined the possible impact of particulate matter up to 10 microm (PM10) and up to 2.5 microm (PM2. 5) in size on intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) risk in a highly polluted area of Northern Bohemia (Teplice District). The study group includes all singleton full-term births of European origin over a 2-year period in the Teplice District. Information on reproductive history, health, and lifestyle was obtained from maternal questionnaires. The mean concentrations of pollutants for each month of gestation were calculated using continuous monitoring data. Three intervals (low, medium, and high) were constructed for each pollutant (tertiles). Odds ratios (ORs) for IUGR for PM10 and PM2.5 levels were generated using logistic regression for each month of gestation after adjustment for potential confounding factors. Adjusted ORs for IUGR related to ambient PM10 levels in the first gestational month increased along the concentration intervals: medium 1.62 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.07-2.46], high 2.64 (CI, 1.48-4.71). ORs for PM2.5 were 1.26 (CI, 0.81-1.95) and 2.11 (CI, 1. 20-3.70), respectively. No other associations of IUGR risk with particulate matter were found. Influence of particles or other associated air pollutants on fetal growth in early gestation is one of several possible explanations of these results. Timing of this effect is compatible with a current hypothesis of IUGR pathogenesis. Seasonal factors, one of the other possible explanations, is less probable. More investigation is required to examine these findings and alternative explanations.  (+info)

(7/1469) Cancer in children of nuclear industry employees: report on children aged under 25 years from nuclear industry family study.

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether children of men and women occupationally exposed to ionising radiation are at increased risk of developing leukaemia or other cancers before their 25th birthday. DESIGN: Cohort study of children of nuclear industry employees. SETTING: Nuclear establishments operated by the Atomic Energy Authority, Atomic Weapons Establishment, and British Nuclear Fuels. SUBJECTS: 39 557 children of male employees and 8883 children of female employees. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Cancer incidence in offspring reported by parents. Employment and radiation monitoring data (including annual external dose) supplied by the nuclear authorities. RESULTS: 111 cancers were reported, of which 28 were leukaemia. The estimated standardised incidence ratios for children of male and female employees who were born in 1965 or later were 98 (95% confidence interval 73 to 129) and 96 (50 to 168) for all malignancies and 109 (61 to 180) and 95 (20 to 277) for leukaemia. The leukaemia rate in children whose fathers had accumulated a preconceptual dose of >/=100 mSv was 5.8 times that in children conceived before their fathers' employment in the nuclear industry (95% confidence interval 1.3 to 24.8) but this was based on only three exposed cases. Two of these cases were included in the west Cumbrian ("Gardner") case-control study. No significant trends were found between increasing dose and leukaemia. CONCLUSIONS: Cancer in young people is rare, and our results are based on small numbers of events. Overall, the findings suggest that the incidence of cancer and leukaemia among children of nuclear industry employees is similar to that in the general population. The possibility that exposure of fathers to relatively high doses of ionising radiation before their child's conception might be related to an increased risk of leukaemia in their offspring could not be disproved, but this result was based on only three cases, two of which have been previously reported. High conceptual doses are rare, and even if the occupational association were causal, the number of leukaemias involved would be small; in this study of over 46 000 children, fewer than three leukaemias could potentially be attributed to such an exposure.  (+info)

(8/1469) Tryptophan ingestion by pregnant rats induces pituitary and mammary tumours in the adult female offspring.

The present study was designed to evaluate the long-term consequences of tryptophan treatment on the central serotonergic activity in the female offspring of rats, and particularly on serotonin-controlled hormone release. During the second half of gestation, tryptophan (200 mg/kg/day) was given daily by stomach intubation to pregnant rats and the brain concentrations of serotonin and 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid and the plasma concentrations of prolactin, progesterone, oestradiol and luteinizing hormone were quantified in the adult female offspring. The offspring showed an increase in hypothalamic serotonin and serum progesterone and prolactin. In addition, maternal ingestion of tryptophan induced a marked rise in 665-day-old offspring in the incidence of both pituitary prolactinomas (62%) and mammary adenomas (49%). Present data suggest that tryptophan regulates serotonergic differentiation during early development. A transitory modification of the tryptophan concentration in the fetal brain induces a permanent increase in hypothalamic serotonin level and, in addition to modifying the release of prolactin, increases the incidence of tumours in the hypophysis and mammary gland.  (+info)