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Secondhand Smoke Tied to Invasive Bacterial Disease

Meta-analysis indicates association with invasive meningococcal disease


WEDNESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) appears to be associated with the risk for invasive meningococcal disease, according to research published online Dec. 7 in PLoS Medicine.

Chien-Chang Lee, of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of research on SHS exposure and invasive bacterial disease (IBD), identifying 30 case-controlled studies, and, on SHS and bacterial carriage, identifying 12 cross-sectional studies.

The researchers found that, compared with those not exposed to SHS, the summary odds ratios for those who were exposed were 2.02 for invasive meningococcal disease, 1.21 for invasive pneumococcal disease, and 1.22 for invasive Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib). Only the increased risk for meningococcal disease reached statistical significance. For pharyngeal carriage, the summary odds ratios were 1.68 for Neisseria meningitidis, 1.66 for Streptococcus pneumoniae, and 0.96 for Hib. The association between SHS and invasive meningococcal and Hib diseases held true regardless of study designs, publication years, age groups, and outcome definitions.

"When considered together with evidence from direct smoking and biological mechanisms, our systematic review and meta-analysis indicates that SHS exposure may be associated with invasive meningococcal disease. The epidemiologic evidence is currently insufficient to show an association between SHS and invasive Hib disease or pneumococcal disease. Because the burden of IBD is highest in developing countries where SHS is increasing, there is a need for high-quality studies to confirm these results, and for interventions to reduce exposure of children to SHS," the authors write.

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