To determine whether parent-reported perennial rhinitis or objectively measured nasal resistance is more common in children from smoking families. To assess tonsillar size, nasopharyngeal airway and upper airway surgery frequency in children with smoking and non-smoking parents.
Ninety-five children (age 3-6 years, median 68 months) participated in this prospective cross-sectional clinical study. History of nasal symptoms was obtained, and all underwent an ear-nose-throat examination, anterior rhinomanometry and a lateral cephalogram. Regular smoking by either parent and their child's snoring was inquired about with a parental questionnaire. We compared children with a parental smoker and children without a parental smoker in the family.
Smoking in the family led to increased risk for perennial rhinitis in the children up to 2.76-fold (aOR, 95%CI 1.00-7.67), but with no difference in nasal resistance between children from smoking and non-smoking households. Neither tonsillar size, nasopharyngeal airway nor upper airway surgery was associated with parental smoking.
Parental smoking is associated with symptoms of perennial rhinitis in children. The possible role of environmental tobacco smoke should be taken into account in parent counselling and in evaluation of children being treated for symptoms of rhinitis and nasal obstruction.