Maternal Smoking During Pregnancy Related to Asthma in Preschoolers

Latest studies and research on maternal smoking and asthma in preschool children have revealed a new dimension to the already established fact. According to the research, mothers who smoke are exposing their yet-to-be born to the ill effects of cigarette smoking including increased risk of asthma to the child in the preschool stage.

Maternal Smoking

Study on Incidence of Asthma among Preschoolers

The findings of this research were first published online and later in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, authored by Asa Neuman, et al.

The research was conducted by scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm under the guidance of Dr. Asa Neuman. It was aimed at differentiating the effects of maternal smoking in the prenatal and post natal stages. The sample size was selected from a database of 21,000 children in Europe. Among them 735 were confirmed to be exposed to smoking before birth.

The data for this statistic was obtained from a questionnaire-based survey of parents whose children suffered from asthma. The results from this study established conclusions that those mothers who smoked in the first trimester of pregnancy were increasing the risk of asthma in their child more than those who smoked only during the last trimester.

How to avoid asthma among Preschoolers

The symptoms of asthma are severe respiratory discomfort accompanied by wheezing. Children affected by asthma have lower immunity to respiratory illnesses. They are administered antibiotics and histamines to counter the attack and prolonged treatment has cascading side effects on the body.

This leads to the logical deduction that most fetuses were exposed to the harmful effects of smoking even before the mother could detect her pregnancy. This reiterates the advice of physicians and medical practitioners worldwide that smoking women must stop the smoking much before conception, when she plans to have a child. This is because, by the time she realizes she is pregnant the damage to the fetus is already caused. What is more, the effects of these respiratory problems will not be felt until the child reaches pre-school age – 4 to 6 years.

Though Dr. Neuman states some limitations in the format of obtaining information from the parents, the clinical results correlate with the statistical findings. She has special advice for the teens and young mothers – to quit smoking way before getting pregnant.


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