A first-of-its-kind study is giving smokers one more reason to quit as a New Year’s resolution. The study, which will be published in the January 2012 issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology has shown that adults with aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease are three times more likely to have been exposed to second-hand smoke during their childhood compared with those without the condition.

Approximately 10% of asthma sufferers and one third of asthmatics with chronic sinus inflammation are affected by aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD). Most are unable to take aspirin without suffering an attack or other respiratory symptoms, even though they were able to take it previously.

Lead author Jinny Chang, MD, ACAAI member said:

“More than half of U.S. children are exposed to second-hand smoke, and this study adds to the evidence that it is a health threat. Second-hand smoke exposure during childhood has been linked to a variety of diseases, including heart disease and cancer, and this study shows it also is associated with aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease.”

Researchers surveyed a total of 260 couples (520 individuals), one partner in each couple suffered from asthma and AERD whilst the other did not. They report that those suffering from AERD were over three times more likely to have been exposed to second-hand smoke as children, and five times as likely to have suffered exposure as children and adults, compared with those who did not suffer from the disease.

They also found that those who smoked had a one-and-a-half time higher risk of AERD compared with those who never smoked.

Co-author of the study and ACAAI member Donald Stevenson, MD, declared:

“There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke. Smokers need to realize that they are putting their children and spouses at risk of serious health problems, including asthma associated with AERD.”

To take a relief-self test to check your asthma symptoms, you can obtain a personalized plan on how to get relief and find an allergist at AllergyAndAsthmaRelief.org.

Written by Petra Rattue