Passive Smoking Worsens Responses to Asthma Treatment


Recently there was made a study which found that kids exposed to tobacco smoke at their homes have lower rates of an enzyme which responds to asthma treatment. The sudy proved that passive smoking aggravates asthma symptoms in kids and worsens their response to inhaled steroid treatment. However, scientists cannot say how this effect occurs.

The study was made by Imperial College London and it found that kids with  asthma living in a home where a parent smokes cigarettes inside have lower rates of the enzyme HDAC2 in comparison with kids whose parents don’t smoke. Enzyme HDAC2 is needed for steroids to strenghten their beneficial anti-inflammatory effects in case of asthma.

According to  Professor Peter Barnes FRS, from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, the new finding reveals that the mechanism scientists found makes kids less sensitive to inhaled steroid treatment, which leads to increase of steroids to inhale and namely this may lead to appearing of side effects.

The results of the study show the necessity to adopt strict laws prohibiting smoking in presense of children. Restricting smoking in cars is a good measure, but not sufficient and the same should be applied in homes.

In the UK over 1 million kids suffer from asthma and steroid treatments help to prevent asthma attacks, but for many patients, they aren’t completely effective.

The Imperial College London made its study on 19 children suffering from severe asthma and receiving treatment at Royal Brompton Hospital in London. 10 of them were from non-smoking families and 9 of them lived in homes where parents smoked.

Lung cells of children exposed to secondhand smoke had about half the levels of HDAC2 enzymes in comparison with children from non-smoking families.  Scientists say that children with asthma who were exposed to tobacco smoke had the same molecular abnormalities that lead to steroid resistance as adult people who smoke cigarettes on the regular basis.

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