Household smoking and stunting for children under five years

Regina M. V. Gonçalves-Silva Joaquim G. Valente Márcia G. F. Lemos-Santos Rosely Sichieri About the authors

Maternal tobacco use during pregnancy is one of the most important factors for low birth weight and length. However, postnatal exposure to environmental tobacco smoke has not been explored in children's growth studies. It is known that smoking is more prevalent in low socioeconomic groups and that stunting is also associated with socioeconomic variables. The objective of this study was to verify the effect of socioeconomic variables and environmental tobacco smoke on growth. Children under five years (n = 2,037) attending a primary health care clinic had their weight and stature measured, and a questionnaire on exposure to household passive smoking and socio-demographic characteristics was applied to parents. Prevalence of stunting (defined as a z-score lower than -2) was 4.3%. There was a negative association between stature and smoking during pregnancy, and positive associations with socioeconomic levels, family income, and parents' education. Linear hierarchical regression analysis showed that maternal and paternal smoking remains associated with low stature even after adjusting for maternal smoking during pregnancy and for socio-demographic variables.

Child; Body Height; Tobacco Smoke Pollution

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