Children exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke may become snorers, scientists claim.
An analysis of existing research suggests their risk of becoming snorers rises by up to 87 per cent, if regularly exposed to lingering cigarette smoke.
The odds of youngsters going on to become snorers rose by around two per cent for every cigarette smoked daily in the home.
Chinese scientists reviewed 24 studies that included nearly 88,000 children to come to the conclusion.
Experts welcomed the findings, as snoring is often a pre-cursor to sleep apnoea and has been linked to an array of health issues.
Dr Lucy Popova, a researcher at Georgia State University, who wasn’t involved in the study, said, “Some parents may think snoring in kids is benign or even cute.”
“But snoring is often the first step towards developing sleep apnoea and has been linked to high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease.”
The study adds to the evidence that shows second-hand smoke can be damaging, especially to young children who are still developing.
Qingdao University researchers combined and reanalysed data from the previous studies, which had taken place in a range of countries.
They compared the exposure of tobacco smoke in thousands of children and their eventual risk of going on to become a habitual snorer.
Experts led by Dr Ke Sun discovered exposure to smoke before and after birth raised a child’s odds of habitual snoring, compared to unexposed kids.
Youngsters exposed to smoke while their mothers were pregnant were almost twice as likely to end up snoring.
After birth, children whose mothers smoked were 87 per cent more likely to snore than unexposed children.
Other exposures to smoke in the home, including fathers who smoked, raised the risk by around 45 per cent.
And the younger a child is, the more vulnerable they are, according to the study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
Dr Sun and colleagues noted their study does not examine how cigarette smoke may make a child more vulnerable to snoring.
Dr Sophie Balk, a paediatrician at Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in New York, who wasn’t involved in the analysis, welcomed the study.
She said, “People who smoke should talk to their own doctors, or their child’s doctor about how to quit. Medications – such as nicotine replacement therapies – are available to help with the quit-smoking process.”
Dr Balk added, “Quitting tobacco use entirely is the best way to preserve your own health and the health of your children.”
Source: Daily Mail