Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cigarette smoke linked to ADHD, headaches and stuttering in children


Research to be presented at an international conference (Asia Pacific Conference on Tobacco or Health) in Sydney today (8 Oct) shows that children exposed to second-hand smoke have significantly higher rates of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), headaches and stuttering than those who are not exposed.

The US study asked about exposure to cigarette smoke at home among children aged four to 11 and adolescents aged 12 to 15, and also measured the cotinine levels in their blood (a measure of exposure to tobacco smoke). After controlling for socioeconomic factors and prenatal exposure, the study found children exposed to second-hand smoke had double the rate of ADHD (10.6% compared to 4.6%), almost double the rate of stuttering (6.3%% compared to 3.5%) and an increased rate of headaches (14.2% compared to 10.0%). Adolescents also had significantly higher rates of headaches (26.5% compared to 20.0%). 

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