of Smokers have Higher Risk of Sinusitis-Causing Bacteria
of the medical risks associated with smoking, such as cancer, emphysema
and heart attacks, are well-known to physicians and the general public,
but there are other lesser-known problems that are associated with
smoking. There is now new evidence that more children exposed to tobacco
smoke carry Streptococcus pneumoniae than children without smoking
exposure, according to an article in the April 1 issue of Clinical
pneumoniae often exists in the nose and throat, and children are
more likely to carry the bacteria than adults are. If the bacteria,
also called pneumococci, grow out of control, infection can result
in an increased risk of sinusitis. It can also contribute to minor
illnesses like ear infections or lead to more serious diseases like
pneumonia and meningitis.
in Israel conducted a surveillance study of more than 200 young
children and their mothers. To determine bacterial carriage rates,
the test subjects had their noses and throats swabbed. Then the
researchers analyzed the data based on the children's and mothers'
exposure to smoking. Seventy-six percent of the children exposed
to tobacco smoke carried pneumococci, compared to 60 percent of
those not exposed. Exposed children were also more likely than non-exposed
children to carry pneumococcal serotypes responsible for most of
the invasive S. pneumoniae disease. In the mothers, differences
were also noted--32 percent of mothers who smoked carried S. pneumoniae,
compared with 15 percent of mothers who were exposed to smoking
and 12 percent of mothers not exposed to smoking.
rates of bacteria can translate to higher rates of infection, according
to lead author David Greenberg, MD. "Since carriage in the
nose is the first step in causing disease, the increased rate of
carriage suggests more frequent occurrence of the disease. Indeed,
active and passive smoking are associated with increased rate of
respiratory infectious diseases," Dr. Greenberg said.
hope their data will persuade parents to quit smoking, most importantly
stop smoking around children. "Smoking parents, especially
smoking mothers (or the parent spending the most time with the child)
jeopardize their children's health" by putting them at higher
risk for invasive and respiratory infections, Dr. Greenberg said.
"This should definitely encourage the parents not to smoke
in the presence of their child, especially if this child has predisposing
factors such as asthma."
to the Allergy, Sinusitis, and Asthma Ezine
to Sinusitis Reference Section
to Health Main Reference Category
Return to NEWSdial.com