-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to secondhand
smoke greatly increases a child's chances of developing several
invasive bacterial diseases, according to a new review of published
The risk was found to be especially strong for children 6 years
old and younger.
Exposure to secondhand smoke doubles the risk for invasive
meningococcal disease, the analysis found, and may also increase
the chances of developing invasive pneumococcal disease and
Haemophilus influenzae type B.
The findings, which came from an analysis of 42 studies, most
conducted in high-income countries with good vaccination policies,
are published online in
The results suggest that decreasing children's exposure to
secondhand smoke could reduce the number of illnesses and deaths
caused by these diseases, especially in poor countries with low
rates of vaccination against invasive bacterial diseases, according
to study author Chien-Chang Lee of the Harvard School of Public
Health and fellow researchers.
"Because the burden of invasive bacterial disease is highest in developing countries where secondhand smoke is increasing, there is a need for high-quality studies to confirm these results and for interventions to reduce exposure of children to secondhand smoke," they said in a journal news release.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more
secondhand smoke and children.
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