Effects of environmental tobacco smoke on respiratory symptoms and pulmonary function.

Inhal Toxicol. 2006 Jul;18(8):569-73. Alipour S, Deschamps F, Lesage FX. Department of Occupational Health, Faculty of Medicine, Reims Cedex, France.

The aim of this study was to examine the effects of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) on pulmonary function and respiratory symptoms. During periodic medical examination, 392 French nonsmokers responded to an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Then spirometry was performed to assess pulmonary function. All of the subjects were carefully examined by two occupational physicians.

ETS exposure at the workplace was more common than this exposure at home (20% vs. 5%). ETS exposure was significantly associated with forced vital capacity (FVC; -3.16%; 95% CI: -5.67 to -0.64) and forced expiratory volume in 1s (FEV1; -2.90%; 95% CI: -5.59 to -0.23). Abnormal FVC results were significantly increased in exposed subgroup [odds ratio = 2.71 (95% CI: 1.09 to 6.75)]. We did not find any significant dose-response relationship between ETS exposure and lung function results. The effects of ETS exposure on respiratory symptoms and diseases (asthma, wheezing, chronic bronchitis, and dyspnea) were not significant.

Thus, this study showed that there was a significant inverse association between exposure to ETS and pulmonary function. Even pulmonary function results inferior to the lower limit of normal may be possible. A stricter legislation against ETS is proposed.

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