Persistent Effects of Maternal Smoking during Pregnancy on Lung Function and Asthma in Adolescents

Elysia Hollams, Nicholas De Klerk, Patrick Holt, PD Sly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

77 Citations (Scopus)


Rationale: The extent to which maternal smoking in pregnancy (MSP) has persisting effects on respiratory health remains uncertain and the mechanisms involved are not fully understood. Alterations in immune function have been proposed as a mechanism contributing to respiratory disease.

Objectives: To determine whether MSP increases risk of respiratory disorders in adolescence and, if so, whether this occurs by decreased lung function, altered immune function, and/or enhanced atopy.

Methods: Data on spirometry, bronchial responsiveness, respiratory symptoms, total and allergen-specific IgE and IgG4, immune function, and inflammatory markers were obtained from 1,129 participants in the 14-year follow-up of the Western Australian Pregnancy (Raine) Cohort and related to MSP using regression analyses.

Measurements and Main Results: MSP was reported for 21.0% (237 of 1,129) of participants, with 92 (8.1%) reporting current smoking. MSP was associated with some altered immune measures at age 14. MSP was strongly related to reduced lung function in current nonsmokers (forced expiratory flow midexpiratory phase [FEF25–75%], P = 0.016; FEV1/FVC, P = 0.009) and increased risk for current asthma (odds ratio [OR], 1.84; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.16–2.92; P = 0.01), current wheeze (OR, 1.77; 95% CI, 1.14–2.75; P = 0.011), and exercise-induced wheeze (OR, 2.29; 95% CI, 1.37–3.85; P = 0.002), but not for bronchial hyperresponsiveness or atopy. Adjustment for immune measures and/or lung function in multivariate models did not greatly alter these associations and the increased risks for asthma and wheeze were not modified by sex, atopy, or maternal history of asthma or atopy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-407
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number4
Early online date19 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2014

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Persistent Effects of Maternal Smoking during Pregnancy on Lung Function and Asthma in Adolescents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this