Prenatal Tobacco Smoke Exposure Increases Hospitalizations for Bronchiolitis in Infants

Marcello Lanari; Silvia Vandini; Fulvio Adorni; Federica Prinelli; Simona Di Santo; Michela Silvestri; Massimo Musicco


Respiratory Research. 2015;16(152) 

In This Article


Background: Tobacco smoke exposure (TSE) is a worldwide health problem and it is considered a risk factor for pregnant women's and children's health, particularly for respiratory morbidity during the first year of life. Few significant birth cohort studies on the effect of prenatal TSE via passive and active maternal smoking on the development of severe bronchiolitis in early childhood have been carried out worldwide.

Methods: From November 2009 to December 2012, newborns born at ≥33 weeks of gestational age (wGA) were recruited in a longitudinal multi-center cohort study in Italy to investigate the effects of prenatal and postnatal TSE, among other risk factors, on bronchiolitis hospitalization and/or death during the first year of life.

Results: Two thousand two hundred ten newborns enrolled at birth were followed-up during their first year of life. Of these, 120 (5.4 %) were hospitalized for bronchiolitis. No enrolled infants died during the study period.

Prenatal passive TSE and maternal active smoking of more than 15 cigarettes/daily are associated to a significant increase of the risk of offspring children hospitalization for bronchiolitis, with an adjHR of 3.5 (CI 1.5–8.1) and of 1.7 (CI 1.1–2.6) respectively.

Conclusions: These results confirm the detrimental effects of passive TSE and active heavy smoke during pregnancy for infants' respiratory health, since the exposure significantly increases the risk of hospitalization for bronchiolitis in the first year of life.