Environmental tobacco smoke and adult-onset asthma: a population-based incident case-control study

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OBJECTIVES: The authors assessed the effects of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) on the development of asthma in adults. METHODS: In the Pirkanmaa district of South Finland, all 21- to 63-year-old adults with new cases of asthma diagnosed during a 2.5-year period (n = 521 case patients, out of 441 000 inhabitants) and a random sample of control subjects from the source population (932 control subjects) participated in a population-based incident case-control study. RESULTS: Risk of asthma was related to workplace ETS exposure (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 2.16; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.26, 3.72) and home exposure (OR = 4.77; 95% CI = 1.29, 17.7) in the past year. Cumulative ETS exposure over a lifetime at work and at home increased the risk. CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates for the first time that both cumulative lifetime and recent ETS exposures increase the risk of adult-onset asthma.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2055-2060
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003