Second Hand Smoke Linked to Sinus Problems

Chronic rhinosinusitis could be the result of increased exposure to <"">secondhand smoke, both privately and in public settings, said Science Daily, citing a report in the April issue of Archives of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. Chronic rhinosinusitis is inflammation of the nose or sinuses lasting 12 weeks or longer.

Science Daily noted that secondhand smoke contains over 4,000 substances, including in excess of 50 that are known or suspected carcinogens, again, citing the article. Secondhand smoke is linked to many diseases in adults and children, such as sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, middle ear disease, asthma, coronary heart disease, and lung and sinus cancers. Some 126 million nonsmokers—60 percent of all U.S. non-smokers—are exposed to secondhand smoke.

C. Martin Tammemagi, D.V.M., M.Sc., Ph.D., of Brock University, St. Catharine’s, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues studied 306 non-smoking patients diagnosed as having chronic rhinosinusitis. The team looked at secondhand smoke exposure in the home, work, public places, and at private social functions during the five years prior to diagnoses, versus 306 individuals with the same demographic make-up, but without a rhinosinusitis diagnosis, said Science Daily.

The team found that those with chronic rhinosinusitis were likelier than those in the control group to have secondhand smoke exposure at home (13.4 percent versus 9.1 percent); at work (18.6 percent versus 6.9 percent); in public places (90.2 percent versus 84.3 percent); and at private social functions (51.3 percent versus 27.8 percent), wrote Science Daily. A dose-response relationship was also seen, meaning that the risk for the disorder increased with secondhand smoke exposure in more of the venues. In all, nearly half—about 40 percent—of the chronic rhinosinusitis cases seemed to be linked to secondhand smoke, said Science Daily.

We also wrote that an earlier study found that women routinely around smokers may face greater challenges when trying to conceive. Reuters Health said that while previous studies have indicated that female smokers increase their risks of pregnancy complications, miscarriage and infant health problems, this latest study, which involved over 4,800 women, is showing other risks.

Women exposed to second-hand smoke as both children and adults saw a 39 percent increased likelihood of undergoing a miscarriage or stillbirth and a 68 percent greater chance of experiencing infertility problems.

Another study on which we wrote found that exposure to secondhand smoke puts women at a significantly higher risk for the development of peripheral artery disease (PAD), finding that women exposed to second-hand smoke either at home or in the workplace had a 67 percent increased risk of PAD compared to those with no exposure.

PAD is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to the limbs. People who develop PAD don’t receive enough blood flow to keep up with demand. This causes symptoms, most notably leg pain when walking. PAD can reduce blood flow to the heart and brain, as well as the legs.

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