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)
Metabolites of a tobacco-specific carcinogen in urine from newborns.
BACKGROUND: Cigarette smoking during pregnancy can result in fetal exposure to carcinogens that are transferred from the mother via the placenta, but little information is available on fetal uptake of such compounds. We analyzed samples of the first urine from newborns whose mothers did or did not smoke cigarettes for the presence of metabolites of the potent tobacco-specific transplacental carcinogen 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK). METHODS: The urine was collected and analyzed for two metabolites of NNK, 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL) and its glucuronide (NNAL-Gluc). Gas chromatography and nitrosamine-selective detection, with confirmation by mass spectrometry, were used in the analyses, which were performed without knowledge of the origin of the urine samples. RESULTS: NNAL-Gluc was detected in 22 (71%) of 31 urine samples from newborns of mothers who smoked; NNAL was detected in four of these 31 urine samples. Neither compound was detected in the 17 urine samples from newborns of mothers who did not smoke. The arithmetic mean level of NNAL plus NNAL-Gluc in the 27 newborns of smokers for which both analytes were quantified was 0.14 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.083-0.200) pmol/mL. The levels of NNAL plus NNAL-Gluc in the urine from these babies were statistically significantly higher than those in the urine from newborns of nonsmoking mothers (geometric means = 0.062 [95% CI = 0.035-0.110] and 0.010 [considered as not detected; no confidence interval], respectively; two-sided P<.001). NNAL plus NNAL-Gluc levels in the 18 positive urine samples in which both analytes were quantified ranged from 0.045 to 0.400 pmol/mL, with an arithmetic mean level of 0.20 (95% CI = 0.14-0.26) pmol/mL, about 5%-10% of the levels of these compounds detected in the urine from adult smokers. CONCLUSIONS: Two metabolites of the tobacco-specific transplacental carcinogen NNK can be detected in the urine from newborns of mothers who smoked cigarettes during pregnancy. (+info)
Effects of maternal acetazolamide treatment on body weights and incisor development of the fetal rat.
The incisor development of fetal rats on gestation day 19 was well correlated with their fetal weights. The number of odontoblasts in the mandibular incisors, an index of incisor development, increased more than that of the maxillary incisors with increase in fetal body weights. Maternal acetazolamide treatments were observed to suppress the mean fetal weight and to retard incisor development. A smaller incisor size, a thinner predentin layer, and fewer odontoblasts were characteristic of the acetazolamide group. There was also a good correlation between the fetal weights and the number of odontoblasts in the acetazolamide group. From these results, we postulated that the retarded incisor development of the fetal rats caused by the maternal acetazolamide treatment was related to their suppressed fetal weights. However, the regression coefficient of the fetal weights and the number of odontoblasts in the acetazolamide group was smaller than that of the vehicle control group. It may indicate that retarded incisor development in response to maternal acetazolamide treatment is to some extent independent of suppressed fetal weight. (+info)
Mediators of ethnic-associated differences in infant birth weight.
PURPOSE: To examine whether ethnic differences in low birth weight babies of low-income women may be explained in part by group differences in prenatal health behaviors and psychosocial factors. METHODS: A prospective, survey of 1,071 low-income, primiparous African-American and Mexican-origin women was conducted in Los Angeles County, California. In face-to-face interviews, data were obtained on substance use, prenatal stress, social support, attitudes toward pregnancy, initiation of prenatal care, and medical risk. Medical chart data were abstracted regarding medical risk factors and labor, delivery, and neonatal data. Interview data were linked with birth outcome data retrieved from maternal medical records. Structural equation modeling was used to test a hypothesized model in which differences in birth weight were expected to be mediated by ethnic differences in substance use, psychosocial factors, and medical risk. RESULTS: As expected, African-American women delivered babies of earlier gestational age and lower birth weight than did women of Mexican origin. Direct predictors of low birth weight were use of drugs and cigarettes, prenatal stress, and positive attitudes toward pregnancy; together, these factors accounted for the observed ethnic differences in birth weight. CONCLUSION: These data contribute to our understanding of the factors that may account for ethnic-associated differences in low birth weight. (+info)
Atypical handedness in schizophrenia: some methodological and theoretical issues.
An updated review of the literature strongly supports the view that in schizophrenia there is an atypical leftward shift in the handedness distribution that, while comprising different subtypes, is characterized by a more variable and less completely lateralized pattern of manual preference, referred to as mixed handedness (MH) or ambiguous handedness (AH). Only two studies revealed an increased prevalence of left-handedness suggestive of pathological left-handedness (PLH). This article also examines the current status of neurodevelopmental factors and mechanisms in schizophrenia that purport to explain these pathological shifts in handedness (PLH, MH, AH). Different theoretical positions were evaluated, each involving some aspect of left hemisphere insult (unilateral or bilateral). Finally, it was shown that these shifts predict certain key symptoms and neural substrates in schizophrenia including thought disorder, negative symptoms, neuropsychological impairment, family history, and brain anatomy. These subtypes may represent neurodevelopmental markers of insult during intrauterine life that are nongenetic in origin. (+info)
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)
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)
Health effects of passive smoking. 9. Parental smoking and spirometric indices in children.
BACKGROUND: A systematic quantitative review was conducted of the evidence relating parental smoking to spirometric indices in children. METHODS: An electronic search of the Embase and Medline databases was completed in April 1997 and identified 692 articles from which we included four studies in neonates, 42 cross-sectional studies in school aged children (22 were included in a meta-analysis), and six longitudinal studies of lung function development. RESULTS: In a pooled analyses of 21 surveys of school aged children the percentage reduction in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) in children exposed to parental smoking compared with those not exposed was 1.4% (95% CI 1.0 to 1.9). Effects were greater on mid expiratory flow rates (5.0% reduction, 95% CI 3.3 to 6.6) and end expiratory flow rates (4.3% reduction, 95% CI 3.1 to 5.5). Adjustment for potential confounding variables had little effect on the estimates. A number of studies reported clear evidence of exposure response. Where exposure was explicitly identified it was usually maternal smoking. Two studies in neonates have reported effects of prenatal exposure to maternal smoking. Of five cross sectional studies that compared effects of perinatal exposure (retrospectively assessed) with current exposure to maternal smoking in later childhood, the three largest concluded that the major effect was in utero or neonatal exposure. Longitudinal studies suggest a small effect of current exposure on growth in lung function, but with some heterogeneity between studies. CONCLUSIONS: Maternal smoking is associated with small but statistically significant deficits in FEV1 and other spirometric indices in school aged children. This is almost certainly a causal relationship. Much of the effect may be due to maternal smoking during pregnancy. (+info)