Iranian Journal of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology 2017. 16(6):488-500.

Association between Caregiver Exposure to Toxics during Pregnancy and Childhood-onset Asthma: A Case-control Study
Souheil Hallit, Chantal Raherison, Mirna Waked, Pascale Salameh


The aim of this study was to evaluate the associations between caregiver-reported use of medications, alcohol, cigarette and/or waterpipe (WP), and exposure to pesticides/detergents during pregnancy with childhood-onset asthma. The study design consisted of a case-control study, conducted between December 2015 and April 2016, recruited 1503 children, aged between 3-16 years old. A questionnaire assessed the sociodemographic characteristics (age, gender, education level of both parents), the family history of asthma, and other known risk factors of asthma (heating system at home, child history of recurrent otitis, humidity in the house, child went to a daycare, smoking and drinking alcohol during pregnancy, exposure to pesticides and detergents). The multivariate analysis showed that children living in North and South Lebanon and the children living in areas where pesticides are frequently used had an increased risk of asthma (ORa=1.625, CI 1.034-2.554, p=0.035, ORa=13.65, CI 3.698-50.385; p<0.001 and ORa=3.307, CI 1.848-5.918, p<0.001 respectively). Smoking WP during pregnancy and cigarette during lactation would increase the risk of asthma in children (ORa=6.11; CI 1.244-30.008; p=0.026 and ORa=3.44; CI 1.024-11.554; p=0.046 respectively). We conclude that asthma may originate from the environmental exposure to toxics such as pesticides and tobacco (cigarettes and WP) or to alcohol and prescribed medications during pregnancy and lactation. Spreading awareness by health professionals about these preventable causes can help educate the parents and children to prevent asthma and its exacerbation. 


Asthma; Children; Cigarette smoking; Environmental exposure; Lebanon; Pesticides; Pregnancy; Waterpipe smoking

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