State College, PA (PRWEB) August 24, 2011
Many inner city youths are still being exposed to unhealthy levels of tobacco smoke, according to studies presented in the June issue of the Journal of Asthma and featured in The Spit Report, the electronic newsletter on current salivary research published by Salimetrics. In the study, a team of researchers led by Dr. Arlene Butz from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore examined exposure to secondhand smoke in households with asthmatic children. Although these families had tried to implement smoking bans within the home, measurement of salivary levels of cotinine, a derivative of nicotine, indicate that the children were still being exposed to significant amounts of secondhand smoke.
The exposure to smoke was especially higher for children 3-5 years of age compared to their older siblings, presumably due to practical difficulties in separating these younger children from their principal caregivers, who are most often the main smokers in the households. The study reveals that additional counseling is needed to help families establish more effective smoking bans in the home and to recognize more accurately the symptoms of asthma in their children.
Previous studies on the effects of smoking on child health have often relied on self-reported smoking levels, but problems with memory or false reporting are thought to have affected the validity of these studies’ findings. Cotinine is the preferred analyte for monitoring exposure to tobacco products, and measurement of cotinine in saliva allows researchers to quantify more accurately the amount of smoke exposure without the need to draw blood.
Additional studies presented in the Salimetrics newsletter include one that examines relationships between secondhand smoke and diseases in children such as hyperactivity and conduct disorder, as well as two others that discuss programs to reduce smoking in pregnant women.
Founded in 1998, Salimetrics, LLC supports researchers, the immunodiagnostic industry, and functional testing laboratories around the world with innovative salivary immunoassay products and services. Salimetrics’ assay kits and CLIA-certified testing services measure biomarkers related to stress, behavior and development, Inflammation, and immune function, including: alpha-amylase, androstenedione, blood contamination, chromogranin A, cortisol, cotinine, C-reactive protein, DHEA, DHEA-S, estradiol, estriol, estrone, IL-1b, IL-6, melatonin, progesterone, 17α-hydroxyprogesterone, secretory IgA, testosterone, and TNF-a. Salimetrics also provides salivary DNA analysis. The company is based in State College, Pennsylvania, with offices in the UK and distributors in Europe, Australasia, and South America. For more information, visit Salimetrics on the web at http://www.salimetrics.com.
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