4008.0: Tuesday, November 14, 2000 - Board 4

Abstract #9456

Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure and Head Start children

Anne Turner-Henson, RN, DSN1, Nalini Sathiakumar, MD, DrPH2, Connie Kohler, DrPH2, and Roni Grad, MD3. (1) School of Nursing, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1530 3rd Ave South, Birmingham, AL 35294, 205 934 5555, turnhena@uab.edu, (2) School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1530 3rd Ave South, Birmingham, AL 35294, (3) School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1530 3rd Ave South, Birmingham, AL 35294

Background: ETS exposure is the #1 respiratory irritant for children. This study reports a survey of ETS exposure among Head Start children and mothers, and examines the relationships between ETS exposure among preschool children to acute and chronic respiratory disease/symptoms. Methods: The sample consisted of 470 Head Start children (primarily African Americans) and mothers. Measures included urine hydroxycotinine (RIA by Serex, Inc) and maternal report of ETS exposure and respiratory disease/symptoms. Results: ETS by physiological measures accounted for 55% of children's ETS exposure and 68% of mothers having either environmental or personal tobacco smoke exposure. Childrenís hydroxycotinine ranged from no exposure to levels indicative of an adult smoker (range 0-1400 ng/ml, median=5.85) and motherís levels ranged from no exposure to 15,300 ng/ml hydroxycotinine (median=9.20). Maternal report of ETS was 44% among childrenís primary households and 52% among secondary households (e.g., household where child stays at least 6-8 hours/week). Children's respiratory disease/symptom prevalence was high, though reflects national estimates. Mothers reported that 58% of children had a history of otitis media, 28% reported wheezing, 12% had asthma and 16% reported taking asthma medications. Conclusions: The results are alarming indicating a critical need for ETS reduction interventions in this high-risk population. While maternal smoking is a primary source of ETS for preschool children, our data indicated that other household sources and secondary households are contributing to childrenís ETS exposures.

Learning Objectives: 1. Identify ETS exposure in Head Start children and their mothers. 2. Describe the relationship between ETS exposure and respiratory disease/symptoms. 3. Discuss implications for ETS reducation strategies in Head Start populations

Keywords: Environmental Exposures, Children

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA