In a Pediatric Pulmonology study of children aged 15 months, increasing hair nicotine levels were related to prior parent-reported smoking exposure and were associated with potential increased risks of wheeze and asthma.
In the study of 376 infants, researchers obtained detailed information from parents about smoking exposure during pregnancy and in the home at 3 and 15 months of age. Data for demographics, wheezing, and asthma were obtained from yearly questionnaires up to age 6 years.
Hair nicotine increased with numbers of smokers and daily cigarettes smoked at home, and was also strongly associated with smoking in pregnancy, according to lead author Dr. Philip Pattemore, of the University of Otago Christchurch, in New Zealand. Although overall the hair nicotine levels in the participants were relatively low, higher levels of hair nicotine were associated with increased risk of wheeze and, though not significant, of asthma at 15 months of age. At older ages the associations were non-significant.