Table of Contents
International Journal of Family Medicine
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 165687, 9 pages
Research Article

Effects of Secondhand Smoke Exposure on the Health and Development of African American Premature Infants

1Duke University School of Nursing, DUMC 3322, 307 Trent Drive, Durham, NC 27710, USA
2Family Health International, 2224 E. NC Highway 54, Durham, NC 27713, USA
3University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing, CB no. 7460, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
4Department of Pediatrics, Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, 600 Moye Boulevard, Greenville, NC 27834, USA

Received 7 December 2010; Accepted 14 March 2011

Academic Editor: Aneez Esmail

Copyright © 2011 Jada Brooks 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.


Objective. To explore the effects of secondhand smoke exposure on growth, health-related illness, and child development in rural African American premature infants through 24 months corrected age. Method. 171 premature infants (72 boys, 99 girls) of African American mothers with a mean birthweight of 1114 grams. Mothers reported on household smoking and infant health at 2, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months corrected age. Infant growth was measured at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months, and developmental assessments were conducted at 12 and 24 months. Results. Thirty percent of infants were exposed to secondhand smoke within their first 2 years of life. Secondhand smoke exposure was associated with poorer growth of head circumference and the development of otitis media at 2 months corrected age. Height, weight, wheezing, and child development were not related to secondhand smoke exposure. Conclusion. Exposure to secondhand smoke may negatively impact health of rural African American premature infants. Interventions targeted at reducing exposure could potentially improve infant outcomes.