0
Communications to the Editor |

Environmental Tobacco Smoke Exposure and Adult Asthma FREE TO VIEW

Mark D. Eisner, MD, MPH, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, CA

Correspondence to: Mark D. Eisner, MD, MPH, FCCP, Associate Professor of Medicine, 350 Parnassus Ave, Suite 609, San Francisco, CA 94143-0924; e-mail: eisner@itsa.ucsf.edu



Chest. 2002;121(6):2084. doi:10.1378/chest.121.6.2084
Text Size: A A A
Published online

To the Editor:

Larsson and colleagues (September 2001)1examined the relation between childhood environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure and the prevalence of self-reported asthma in adulthood. As the authors point out, the effect of ETS exposure on childhood asthma induction is not in doubt. Based on > 40 epidemiologic studies, extensive data support a causal association between ETS exposure and induction of asthma in children.2However, the relationship between ETS exposure and adult-onset asthma has received less attention.3

The study of Larsson et al1 contributes to the literature linking ETS exposure with a greater risk of asthma. Unfortunately, the study does not clearly advance our understanding of how childhood ETS exposure affects the onset of asthma during adulthood. The study presents two alternate definitions of asthma, both of which measure lifetime prevalence of asthma. In other words, the prevalence of ever having asthma or having a physician diagnosis of asthma could reflect onset of asthma during childhood or adulthood. Without knowing the age of asthma onset, the observed association between childhood ETS exposure and adult asthma prevalence could be explained by the well-known relation between ETS exposure and childhood asthma.

Based on the available epidemiologic literature and strong biologic plausibility, ETS exposure is a likely cause of adult-onset asthma.37 To better define this relationship, future studies should evaluate incident, rather than prevalent, adult asthma cases.

Larsson, ML, Frisk, M, Hallstrom, J, et al (2001) Environmental tobacco smoke exposure during childhood is associated with increased prevalence of asthma in adults.Chest120,711-717. [PubMed] [CrossRef]
 
California Environmental Protection Agency... Health effects of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. 1997; Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Sacramento, CA:.
 
Eisner, MD, Blanc, PD Environmental tobacco smoke and adult asthma. Watson, R eds.Environmental tobacco smoke2001,81-105 CRC Press. Boca Raton, FL:
 
Flodin, U, Jeonsson, P, Ziegler, J, et al An epidemiologic study of bronchial asthma and smoking.Epidemiology1995;6,503-505. [PubMed]
 
Dayal, HH, Khuder, S, Sharrar, R, et al Passive smoking in obstructive respiratory disease in an industrialized urban population.Environ Res1994;65,161-171. [PubMed]
 
Hu, FB, Persky, V, Flay, BR, et al An epidemiological study of asthma prevalence and related factors among young adults.J Asthma1997;34,67-76. [PubMed]
 
Greer, JR, Abbey, DE, Burchette, RJ Asthma related to occupational and ambient air pollutants in nonsmokers.J Occup Med1993;35,909-915. [PubMed]
 

Figures

Tables

References

Larsson, ML, Frisk, M, Hallstrom, J, et al (2001) Environmental tobacco smoke exposure during childhood is associated with increased prevalence of asthma in adults.Chest120,711-717. [PubMed] [CrossRef]
 
California Environmental Protection Agency... Health effects of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. 1997; Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Sacramento, CA:.
 
Eisner, MD, Blanc, PD Environmental tobacco smoke and adult asthma. Watson, R eds.Environmental tobacco smoke2001,81-105 CRC Press. Boca Raton, FL:
 
Flodin, U, Jeonsson, P, Ziegler, J, et al An epidemiologic study of bronchial asthma and smoking.Epidemiology1995;6,503-505. [PubMed]
 
Dayal, HH, Khuder, S, Sharrar, R, et al Passive smoking in obstructive respiratory disease in an industrialized urban population.Environ Res1994;65,161-171. [PubMed]
 
Hu, FB, Persky, V, Flay, BR, et al An epidemiological study of asthma prevalence and related factors among young adults.J Asthma1997;34,67-76. [PubMed]
 
Greer, JR, Abbey, DE, Burchette, RJ Asthma related to occupational and ambient air pollutants in nonsmokers.J Occup Med1993;35,909-915. [PubMed]
 
NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

  • CHEST Journal
    Print ISSN: 0012-3692
    Online ISSN: 1931-3543