Dipartimento di Pediatria dell’Università “Federico II”, Napoli
Key words: Passive smoking, Respiratory illness
Aim of the study is to evaluate the load of passive smoking at home on the incidence of common respiratory diseases in children. 464 children 0-10 years old were followed for a mean of 4 years to accrue 1821 child-years. The incidence of each disease was prospectively recorded. Parents’ smoke was evalued by a structured questionnaire during a direct interview. The children of parents smoking both more than 10 sigarettes/day, compared to children of non-smokers showed a measurable excess of influenza (45.7% versus 32%, O.R. 1.62), faringitis (60% versus 54%, O.R. 1.27), laringitis (17.1% versus 15.5%, O.R. 1.12), otitis (17.1% versus 11%, O.R. 1.67), asthma (14.3% versus 13%, O.R. 1.11). These differences, although often not-significant, due to type II error, are very similar to those observed in larger studies. Home passive smoking is associated with a moderate excess of upper respiratory tract infection in children: the excess work load to the pediatrician in charge is valued at about 125 visit/year.
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