Passive smoking and childhood asthma. Urinary cotinine levels in children with asthma and in referents

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Passive exposure to tobacco smoke was assessed in children with asthma (age 3-15) and in referents. There was statistically significantly (P less than 0.0005) higher excretion of the nicotine metabolite, cotinine, in the urine of 49 children with asthma (geometric mean 10 ng/ml) compared with 77 referents (4.8 ng/ml). Maternal smoking was statistically significantly more prevalent among the asthmatics than among the referents (relative risk = RR = 2.6, 95% C1 = 1.2-5.3). In conclusion, the exposure to environmental tobacco smoke in asthmatic children was higher than among healthy children, indicating that passive smoking may be a predisposing and/or aggravating factor for childhood asthma.


  • Stefan Willers
  • E Svenonius
  • Gunnar Skarping
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Respiratory Medicine and Allergy


  • cotinine, childhood asthma, involuntary, passive smoking, predisposing factor
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-334
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1991
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (013078001), Pediatrics/Urology/Gynecology/Endocrinology (013240400)