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Two more bricks in the wall.

Evidence of ill effects suffered by nonsmokers exposed to cigarette smoke continues to mount (SN: 4/5/80, p. 221; 1/24/81, p. 53; 5/12/84, p. 296; 6/2/84 p. 342, 348). Two new studies show that smokers may be hurting their spouses and children.

In the May AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH, Dale P. Sandler and her colleagues at the national Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, N.C., analyze the smoking habits of the parents of 438 cancer patients aged 15 to 59 and 470 cancer-free people. The percentage of smokers among the patients and controls was about equal. They found that, overall, offspring of smoking fathers had a 50 percent higher risk of all types of cancer, with offspring who smoked at a slightly greater risk. They also found that while there was only a small overall risk associated with maternal smoking, the children of smoking mothers were at 2.7 times the risk of those of nonsmoking mothers for leukemia and lymphoma. These statistical observations await biological explanation.

Nonsmoking wives of smokers may also suffer, according to a report in the May AMERICAN JOURNAL OF EPIDEMIOLOGY. Cedric Garland and co-workers at the University of California at San Diego monitored the health of 695 women from a San Diego suburb for 10 years. The death rate from hearth disease among smokers' wives was 2.5 times that of nonsmokers' wives, and this figure increased when such known risk factors as blood pressure and cholesterol were ruled out. But, they caution, since the sample size was relatively small, the results are "provocative rather than definitive."
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Title Annotation:ill effects of cigarette smoke on nonsmokers
Publication:Science News
Date:May 18, 1985
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