Possible association between passive smoking and lower exhaled nitric oxide in asthmatic children

T.J. Warke, V. Mairs, P.S. Fitch, Madeleine Ennis, Michael Shields

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)


In adults, both active and passive smoking reduce levels of exhaled nitric oxide (eNO); however, to date, passive exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) has not been shown to affect eNO in children. The authors recruited 174 asthmatic children (96 male, 78 female) and 79 nonasthmatic controls (46 male, 33 female) from a group of children aged 5 to 14 yr who attended a children's hospital for an outpatient visit or elective surgery. Each subject's exposure to ETS was ascertained by questionnaire, and their eNO levels were measured. Asthmatic children had higher eNO levels (ppb) than nonasthmatic children (p = 0.04), and asthmatic children exposed to ETS had significantly lower eNO levels than unexposed children (p = 0.005). Exposure to ETS did not alter eNO levels in nonasthmatic children (p = 0.4). Results of the study suggest that ETS exposure is associated with lower eNO levels among childhood asthmatics. Consequently, ETS exposure may need to be considered when physicians interpret eNO levels in asthmatic children. Further study of the effects of ETS on eNO levels is recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-616
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of environmental health
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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