Tobacco smoke could affect black children more

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 9, 2007

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African-American children may be more susceptible to toxins found in environmental tobacco smoke and could, therefore, be more prone to serious health complications than white children, according to a study by University of Cincinnati researchers.

They found that of 220 tobacco-exposed children with asthma, African-American children had higher levels of hair and blood cotinine, a product of nicotine metabolism, than did Caucasian children. The study ran in the March issue of Chest, the American College of Chest Physicians' journal.

The researchers noted that black children have higher rates of tobacco-related disorders, such as asthma, sudden-infant death syndrome and low birth weight.

"We need to know why," said lead author Stephen Wilson, MD, assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati. "So our goal is to understand how certain populations -- particularly those groups who are most susceptible -- respond to environmental tobacco smoke exposure."

Note: This item originally appeared at

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