Childhood Asthma and Smoking: Moderating Effect of Preterm Status and Birth Weight

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Introduction Although studies have examined the association between childhood asthma and parental smoking and secondhand smoke, little research has explored the moderating role of birth weight and prematurity (BWP) status on this association. We examined the association between secondhand smoke exposure, asthma, and asthma severity in children aged six to 17 as well as the modifying effect of BWP on parental smoking and asthma. Methods We used data from 36,954 children from the National Survey of Children's Health 2017-2018. In addition to univariate analysis, adjusted and unadjusted logistic regression models were used to estimate the effect of secondhand smoke on asthma. The interaction term between parental smoking and BWP was tested. Multinomial regression was used to evaluate the association between secondhand smoke on asthma severity. Results About 15.1 % of children had asthma and 15.4% of parents reported smoking. Odds of asthma were higher in children living with an outdoor (AOR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.06-1.52) and indoor (AOR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.01-2.11) smoker in the adjusted model. The association of parental smoking with asthma differed by birth weight and premature status. Normal weight children who are premature had the highest odds ratio (AOR, 2.15; 95% CI, 1.2-3.86). In the multinomial model, low birth weight and premature children had higher odds of mild (AOR, 1.90; 95% CI, 1.40-2.56) and moderate/severe (AOR, 1.81; 95% CI, 1.16-2.84) asthma compared to the no asthma group. Conclusion The Association of parental smoking on asthma was modified by BWP. Focused asthma interventions in children should inquire about BWP status as well as parental smoking and household smoke exposure to reduce asthma morbidity and mortality.