Ambul Pediatr. 2008 Sep-Oct;8(5):288-93. Epub 2008 May 12.
Environmental tobacco smoke and behaviors of inner-city children with asthma.
OBJECTIVE: To explore the relationship between environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure and behavior among inner-city children with significant asthma.
METHODS: We analyzed baseline data for 200 children 4 to 10 years old who were enrolled in an asthma program. Environmental tobacco smoke exposure was measured by the child's salivary cotinine level. Caregivers completed the 28-item Behavior Problem Index (BPI). Positive responses were summed for a total BPI score, and children with scores >14 were considered to have significant behavior problems. We conducted Student t tests and multivariate regression analyses to determine the association of children's cotinine levels with BPI scores.
RESULTS: Overall, 56% of children were male, 65% were black, and 72% had Medicaid. Mean cotinine level was 1.47 ng/mL. Overall, 30% of children had total BPI scores >14. Children with cotinine values >1.47 ng/mL had significantly higher scores compared with children with lower cotinine values on total BPI (12.5 vs 10.2), as well as externalizing (9.0 vs 7.2), antisocial (2.3 vs 1.7), and immature (2.1 vs 1.6) subscales. In a multivariate model, log cotinine remained independently associated with externalizing (P = .04), headstrong (P = .04), and antisocial behavior (P = .04).
CONCLUSIONS: Cotinine levels are independently associated with problem behaviors among this sample of urban children with asthma.
PMID: 18922501 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]