British researchers reveal that the risk of meningitis in children is high if the mother had smoked during pregnancy or due to second hand smoke from their parents.
Researchers from the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies at the University of Nottingham analyzed more than 18 studies and found that the risk of meningitis was three times higher in children whose mothers had smoked during their pregnancies while it was two times greater in children who are exposed to second hand smoke in their homes, with the risk increasing to 2.5 times if the children were under five years of age.
Advertisement"We estimate that an extra 630 cases of childhood invasive meningococcal disease every year are directly attributable to second hand smoke in the UK alone. While we cannot be sure exactly how tobacco smoke is affecting these children, the findings from this study highlight consistent evidence of the further harms of smoking around children and during pregnancy, and thus parents and family members should be encouraged to not smoke in the home or around children", lead researcher Rachael Murray said.
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