Questionnaire data as predictors of urinary cotinine levels among nonsmoking adolescents

Arch Environ Health. 1993 Jul-Aug;48(4):230-4. doi: 10.1080/00039896.1993.9940364.


The strength of association between urinary cotinine and questionnaire data on passive smoking among 542 adolescents was evaluated. There were 103 individuals with urinary cotinine higher than 30 ng/ml; they were compared with all other subjects. The single variable that best predicted the urinary cotinine level was maternal smoking. A strong effect was made by house size and, consequently, house crowding. Maternal smoking and house crowding had a synergic effect. The subject's perception of passive smoking at home also was an independent indication of a high cotinine level. The final model had a fairly good sensitivity, whereas the specificity was somewhat lower. The results suggest that maternal smoking, house crowding, and subject's perception of a smoky environment could be surrogate indices of high passive smoking exposure in this age group and could be useful for epidemiologic studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attitude to Health
  • Child
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cotinine / urine*
  • Crowding
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Housing
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Parents
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Time Factors
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / analysis*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / statistics & numerical data*


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution
  • Cotinine