Researchers have given smokers one more reason to keep their New Year’s resolution to quit smoking after the results of a first-of-its –kind study were released. The study found that adults with aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD) were more than three times as likely to have been exposed to second-hand smoke during childhood as were those without the condition. Study results appear in the January 2012 issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI).

Approximately 10% of people with asthma and one third of asthmatics with chronic sinus inflammation have AERD. Individuals with the disease are unable to take aspirin without suffering either an asthma attack or other respiratory symptoms.

The study included 520 people: 260 patients who had asthma and AERD and their spouses, who did not have asthma or AERD. Results of the study showed that people with AERD were three times as likely to have been exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke when they were children and were five times as likely to have been exposed during childhood and adulthood. Smokers were more than one and one-half times more likely to have AERD than those who never smoked.

“More than half of US children are exposed to second-hand smoke, and this study adds to the evidence that it is a health threat,” said Jinny Chang, MD, lead author of the study. “Second-hand smoke exposure during childhood has been linked to a variety of diseases, including heart disease and cancer, and this study shows it also is associated with aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease.”

Source: American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology