Exposure to second-hand cigarette smoke ups risk of urinary disorders in children, says study.
"Our research shows that exposure to second-hand cigarette smoke increases the risk of severe urinary disorders in children, that may otherwise be reduced or even prevented," Joseph G. Barone, said.
"Our results emphasize the importance of smoking cessation for parents. Pediatricians and family physicians are urged to discuss with parents opportunities that are available to quit smoking," he said.
The study included children aged 4 through 17 who sought care of a pediatric urologist for irritative bladder storage symptoms including urinary urgency, increased urinary frequency and incontinence.
28 percent of the children in the study were exposed to environmental tobacco smoke. More than half of the children in the study had moderate to severe symptoms, 50 percent of which were exposed to cigarette smoke within a car and 23 percent of which had mothers who smoked.
The presentation noted that symptom severity increased with greater exposure to second-hand smoke; in children aged 4 through 10, the increase in severe urinary symptoms was significant.
"Cigarette smoke is an environmental toxin and dangerous to children's health - particularly hazardous to very young and pre-pubescent children.
"Parents should make a concerted effort to reduce their child's exposure to smoke in confined places, especially in the home and in cars. Quitting smoking is the healthiest option for children," Barone said.
The pediatric urology program, overseen by Dr. Barone, at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital was ranked 35th in the nation in the 2012-13 U.S. News and World Report ranking of America's Best Children's Hospitals released on June 5.
The study was presented at the American Urological Association Annual Meeting.