Effect of secondhand smoke on asthma control among black and Latino children

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012 Jun;129(6):1478-83.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2012.03.017. Epub 2012 Apr 30.


Background: Among patients with asthma, the clinical effect and relative contribution of maternal smoking during pregnancy (in utero smoking) and current secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure on asthma control is poorly documented, and there is a paucity of research involving minority populations.

Objectives: We sought to examine the association between poor asthma control and in utero smoking and current SHS exposure among Latino and black children with asthma.

Methods: We performed a case-only analysis of 2 multicenter case-control studies conducted from 2008-2010 with similar protocols. We recruited 2481 Latino and black subjects with asthma (ages 8-17 years) from the mainland United States and Puerto Rico. Ordinal logistic regression was used to estimate the effect of in utero smoking and current SHS exposures on National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute-defined asthma control.

Results: Poor asthma control among children 8 to 17 years of age was independently associated with in utero smoking (odds ratio [OR], 1.5; 95% CI, 1.1-2.0). In utero smoking through the mother was also associated with secondary asthma outcomes, including early-onset asthma (OR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.1-2.4), daytime symptoms (OR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.1-2.1), and asthma-related limitation of activities (OR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.2-2.2).

Conclusions: Maternal smoking while in utero is associated with poor asthma control in black and Latino subjects assessed at 8-17 years of age.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Asthma / ethnology*
  • Asthma / etiology*
  • Asthma / prevention & control
  • Black or African American* / statistics & numerical data
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange
  • Pregnancy
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution