Hu L, -W, Yang M, Chen S, Shah K, Hailegiorgis Y, Burgens R, Vaughn M, Huang J, Xaverius P, Paul G, Morawska L, Lu T, Lin S*, Zhong S, -Q, Kong M, -L, Xie Y, -Q, Hao Y, -T, Zeng X, -W, Qian Z, Dong G, -H

Background: Little information exists on whether gender or asthma status modifies the effects of secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure on lung function. Objective: To evaluate whether gender or asthma status modifies the association of SHS exposure with lung function. Methods: A total of 6,740 children (average 11.6 years) were recruited from 24 districts of 7 cities in northeast China in 2012. SHS exposure included exposure to environmental and maternal smoking both in utero and during early childhood (postnatal). Lung function was measured using electronic spirometers. Two-step regressions were used to analyze the association between SHS and lung function. Results: In utero and postnatal exposure to SHS was independently associated with decreased lung function in both genders; however, this association was greater among males. For example, when exposed to maternal smoking during pregnancy, the adjusted odds ratio (aOR) for decreased forced vital capacity (FVC) was 6.46 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.58-16.17) among males, while only 2.16 (95% CI: 0.96-4.88) among females. More positive associations between SHS exposure and decreased lung function were detected among nonasthmatic compared with asthmatic children. Nonasthmatics had significantly larger deficits from in utero exposure to maternal smoking, which concerned decreased lung FVC function (aOR = 2.58, 95% CI: 1.28-5.21) and decreased lung forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) function (aOR = 2.32, 95% CI: 1.01-5.33). A similar pattern was also observed for the associations between SHS exposure and continuous pulmonary function test measurements. Conclusions: SHS exposure was associated with decreased lung function. Males and nonasthmatics seem to be more susceptible than their respective counterparts.

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* Denotes CSDA Associates, Affiliates, and Staff