Racial differences in the association between maternal smoking during pregnancy and lung function in children

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1995 Aug;152(2):565-9. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.152.2.7633708.


We recently reported that suburban white schoolchildren whose mothers smoked during pregnancy have significantly reduced lung function. Because inner-city and minority children may be at greater risk for respiratory morbidity, we evaluated the relationship between maternal smoking during pregnancy and lung function in 493 white and 383 black schoolchildren 9 to 11 yr of age in three areas of Philadelphia. The child's passive smoking history was determined from reports by the mother. Spirometry was performed at school. After adjusting for height, weight, age, sex, area of city, race, socioeconomic status, and current exposure to environmental tobacco smoke at home, maternal smoking during pregnancy was associated with significant deficits in FEF25-75 (-8.1%) and FEV1/FVC (-2.0%). The observed deficits were larger for black children than for white children, and they were larger for boys than for girls. These results provide additional evidence of an association between maternal smoking during pregnancy and reduced pulmonary function in children, and they suggest that the association may be modified by race and/or sex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Black People*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Lung / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Maximal Midexpiratory Flow Rate
  • Minority Groups
  • Philadelphia
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications*
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Spirometry
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects
  • Urban Health
  • Vital Capacity
  • White People*


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution