Nicotine and Tobaccco Research: Although there are established risks associated with gestational tobacco smoke exposure, few studies have addressed the metabolic hazards of domestic exposure in early childhood. This study prospectively examines the long-term relationship between early childhood exposure to household smoke and two adiposity-related measures at age 10. Participants from the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development birth cohort were categorized into one of three groups of early childhood household exposure to tobacco smoke over four time points (from ages 1 to 7 years): never-exposed; transient exposure; and continuous exposure. Follow-up measures of BMI and waist circumference were independently assessed at age 10.
A significant long-term prospective associations between home-based
secondhand smoke exposure and unhealthy body fat
distribution was found. Waist circumference in youth has
become an important risk factor for obesity-related diseases in
adulthood. These findings emphasize the importance public health
initiatives and parental sensitization aimed at domestic exposure
during the critical early childhood years.