Mother's Smoking Habit May Contribute to a Child's Development of COPD During Adulthood, Study Reveals

By Denise Uychiat, Parent Herald March 14, 08:15 pm

Smoking has been known to cause all kinds of problems for those who are into it. However, it is not fair for those who don't smoke to suffer respiratory problems. A study has recently revealed that mothers who smoke put their children at risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as an adult.

According to the study, a child's exposure to second-hand smoke from their mothers can dramatically raise its chance of developing the disease. COPD involves a group of lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema that can block the air from flowing to your lungs therefore also affecting your breathing, themarshalltown.com reported.

The researchers based their study on the tracking of people at risk of COPD. Nearly 1,400 adults were involved in the study which suggests that mothers who smoke more than 20 cigarette sticks a day increases the risk of a child's long-term COPD to almost threefold.

The study's author, Jennifer Perret, a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Air Quality and Evaluation in the Melbourne School of Population & Global Health at the University of Melbourne in Australia, said that the results did not surprise them anymore. "Smoking in later life can result in deficits in lung function by middle age. So it was not unexpected to see that mothers' smoking . . . could also adversely influence the growing lungs of [their children]," Perret said. And, "reduced lung function potential in childhood predisposes an individual to having reduced lung function as an adult," she added.

According to US News, the findings add to the increasing number of evidence proving that secondhand smoke exposure at a young age can result in a higher risk of COPD during adulthood. However, the study was not able to determine that the mother's heavy smoking is what caused her children to have an elevated risk for COPD later in their lives. They did, however, manage to find a direct association between the two.

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