The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

1998 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

THE EFFECT OF PASSIVE TOBACCO SMOKE ON PULMONARY FUNCTION IN SECOND GRADE STUDENTS.

Crystal L. Dunlevy, EdD, RRT, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA.

Introduction: Children exposed to environmental tobacco smoke have been shown to have increased rates of upper and lower respiratory infections and middle ear infections, as well as diminished pulmonary function values. It is unclear at what age the pulmonary function declines begin to be significant. The purpose of this study was to compare forced vital capacities (FVC) and forced expiratory flowrates at 1 second (FEV-1) of second graders who were exposed to passive tobacco smoke in their home, with second graders who were not exposed to environmental tobacco smoke. Materials & Methods: 98 second-grade students from an urban elementary school comprised the study population. Students were asked whether or not anyone living in their house smoked. Subjects performed FVC with appropriate coaching, using the Foster handheld spirometer. Highest FVC and FEV-1 was recorded, FEV-1/FVC values were calculated. Pulmonary function results of subjects from the two groups were compared, using a two-tailed t-test for independent groups. p < = 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant. Descriptive data was also reported. Results: 55 subjects were female (56%); 43 subjects were male (44%). Mean age was 7.46 years. 28 (29%) students reported that someone who lived in their house smoked cigarettes. When the groups were compared, FEV-1, FVC, and FEV-1/FVC were all significantly reduced (p 0.024; 0.022; 0.012, respectively) in the passive smoking group. Conclusion: This study suggests an adverse effect on lung function among 7-8 year old children who are exposed to environmental tobacco smoke. The effects of these deficits on future lung function is not known, but is likely to be important.

The 44th International Respiratory Congress Abstracts-On-DiskĀ®, November 7 - 10, 1998, Atlanta, Georgia.

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