Background: Studies that have investigated the association between exposure to passive smoke and increased risk for disease have had inconclusive results and have raised questions about whether women exposed to passive smoke differ from those not exposed.
Methods: The study population included 120 women nonsmokers who reported that they had been exposed to passive smoke in the 24 hr prior to the interview and 213 women who reported no exposure. Women were queried about demographic, lifestyle, sexual, and reproductive factors.
Results: Exposed women were younger, less educated, and slightly heavier than nonexposed women. They were more likely to be divorced or separated (OR = 3.3, 95% CI = 1.4-7.6, P = 0.005), to have had first intercourse at or before age 16 (OR = 1.4, 95% CI = 1.0-1.9, P = 0.04), and to have had three or more live births (OR = 2.9, 95% CI = 1.2-6.8, P = 0.02). Women exposed to passive smoke were more likely to have consumed two or more cups of coffee (OR = 2.0, 95% CI = 1.1-3.8, P = 0.03), two or more glasses of beer (OR = 3.7, 95% CI = 1.1-12.5, P = 0.03), or to have smoked marijuana in the past 24 hr (OR = 14.7, 95% CI = 1.8-122.3, P = 0.01) than women who were not exposed. There were no differences noted between exposed and nonexposed women in history of gynecologic diseases or number of cervical microorganisms.
Conclusion: Women exposed to passive smoke differed from those not exposed on several factors that should be considered in future studies that seek to investigate smoking-related disease risk.