December 10, 2010
Second-Hand Smoke Boosts Chances Of Meningococcal Disease
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Second-hand smoke increases risk of invasive meningococcal disease in children, according to a new study, where authors also found a possible association of second-hand smoke exposure with invasive pneumococcal disease and Haemophilus influenzae type b.
The authors reviewed and analyzed published studies (30 case-control and 12 cross-sectional studies, mostly conducted in high income countries with good vaccination policies). They used the findings of all studies that had compared the occurrence of invasive bacterial disease in children exposed to second-hand smoke with its occurrence in children now exposed to second-hand smoke.
These results suggest that by decreasing children's exposure to second-hand smoke, for example by parents stopping smoking or not smoking at home, deaths and illness caused by invasive bacterial diseases could be reduced. This reduction would be beneficial in poor countries where vaccination against invasive bacterial diseases is low.
"Because the burden of invasive bacterial disease is highest in developing countries where second-hand smoke is increasing, there is a need for high-quality studies to confirm these results, and for interventions to reduce exposure of children to second-hand smoke," the authors were quoted as saying.
SOURCE: PLoS Medicine, published online December 7, 2010