SUNDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- Parents who smoke may put
their children at greater risk for bladder irritation, according to
a small new study.
Young children between the ages of 4 and 10 were at particular
risk from exposure to secondhand smoke.
Bladder irritation involves the urge to urinate, urinating more
frequently and incontinence. The study revealed that exposure to
secondhand smoke is linked to more severe symptoms of bladder
irritation: The more exposure the children had, the worse their
Led by Dr. Kelly Johnson, researchers from Robert Wood Johnson
University Hospital and Rutgers University analyzed survey
information on 45 children ranging in age from 4 to 17. All had
symptoms of bladder irritation. The researchers divided the
children into four groups based on the severity of their symptoms:
very mild, mild, moderate or severe.
Twenty-four of the children studied had moderate to severe
symptoms of bladder irritation, while 21 had mild or very mild
The children with moderate or severe symptoms were more likely
to have consistent exposure to secondhand smoke, the researchers
noted. Of these kids, 23 percent had a mother who smoked and 50
percent of them were regularly exposed to secondhand smoke while
riding in a car.
On the other hand, the children whose mother didn't smoke and
were not exposed to secondhand smoke in the car had only very mild
or mild symptoms of bladder irritation.
The study was expected to be presented Sunday at the annual
meeting of the American Urological Association in Atlanta. The data
and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in
a peer-reviewed journal.
"Secondhand smoke is a leading cause of preventable death in the
United States," Dr. Anthony Atala, a pediatric urologist at Wake
Forest Baptist Medical Center and a spokesman for the AUA, said in
an association news release. "Beyond conditions such as lung
cancer, heart disease and asthma, we now know that smoking has a
negative impact on urinary symptoms, particularly in young
children. Data presented today should be added to the indisputable
evidence that parents shouldn't smoke around their children."
While the study uncovered a link between secondhand smoke and
bladder problems, it did not prove a cause-and-effect.
The U.S. Surgeon General has more about
how tobacco smoke causes disease.
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