RESEARCH PAPER
Determining the burden of secondhand smoke exposure on the respiratory health of Thai children
 
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1
Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
2
Center of Excellence on Environmental Health and Toxicology, Bangkok, Thailand
3
Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health, Bangkok, Thailand
4
Center for the Study of Communication-Design, Osaka, Japan
5
Tobacco Control Research and Knowledge Management Center, Bangkok, Thailand
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Nipapun Kungskulniti   

Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
Publish date: 2013-03-18
 
Tobacco Induced Diseases 2013;11(March):7
KEYWORDS
ABSTRACT
Background:
The impact of secondhand smoke (SHS) on Southeast Asian children’s health has been assessed by a limited number of studies. The purpose of this study was to determine whether in Thailand, pre- and postnatal exposure to SHS is associated with acute lower respiratory conditions in young children.

Methods:
We conducted a case control study of 462 children under age five admitted with acute lower respiratory illnesses, including asthma and pneumonia, at a major hospital in Bangkok. We selected 462 comparison controls from the well-child clinic at the hospital and matched them by sex and age. We used a structured questionnaire to collect information about exposure to SHS and other factors. We conducted bivariate and multivariate analyses to identify risk factors for acute lower respiratory conditions.

Results:
The number of cigarettes smoked at home per day by household members was significantly greater among cases. A greater number of household caregivers of cases held and carried children while smoking as compared to controls (26% versus 7%, p <0.05). Cases were more likely to have been exposed to SHS in the household (adjusted OR = 3.82, 95% CI = 2.47-5.9), and outside (adjusted OR = 2.99, 95% CI = 1.45-6.15). Parental lower educational level and low household income were also associated with respiratory illnesses in Thai children under five.

Conclusions:
Thai children who are exposed to SHS are at nearly 4 times greater risk of developing acute lower respiratory conditions. Continued effort is needed in Thailand to eliminate children’s exposure to SHS, especially at home.

 
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