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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 240757, 8 pages
Research Article

The Impact of Tobacco Smoke Exposure on Wheezing and Overweight in 4–6-Year-Old Children

1Department of Environmental Science, Vytautas Magnus University, K. Donelaicio Street 58, 44248 Kaunas, Lithuania
2Department of Children Diseases, Kaunas University of Medicine, Eiveniu Street 2, 50161 Kaunas, Lithuania
3Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Doctor Aiguader 88, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

Received 7 March 2014; Revised 8 June 2014; Accepted 24 June 2014; Published 6 July 2014

Academic Editor: Amy K. Ferketich

Copyright © 2014 Regina Grazuleviciene et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aim. To investigate the association between maternal smoking during pregnancy, second-hand tobacco smoke (STS) exposure, education level, and preschool children’s wheezing and overweight. Methods. This cohort study used data of the KANC cohort—1,489 4–6-year-old children from Kaunas city, Lithuania. Multivariate logistic regression was employed to study the influence of prenatal and postnatal STS exposure on the prevalence of wheezing and overweight, controlling for potential confounders. Results. Children exposed to maternal smoking during pregnancy had a slightly increased prevalence of wheezing and overweight. Postnatal exposure to STS was associated with a statistically significantly increased risk of wheezing and overweight in children born to mothers with lower education levels (OR 2.12; 95% CI 1.04–4.35 and 3.57; 95% CI 1.76–7.21, accordingly). Conclusions. The present study findings suggest that both maternal smoking during pregnancy and STS increase the risk of childhood wheezing and overweight, whereas lower maternal education might have a synergetic effect. Targeted interventions must to take this into account and address household smoking.