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Bronchiolitis more severe in children of smokers

Babies with bronchiolitis are twice as likely to need oxygen therapy and five times as likely to need the support of a ventilator if they are admitted to hospital from a home where a parent smokes, according to a study.

Researchers at the University of Liverpool found that children admitted to hospital from smoking households were more likely to be seriously effected by the condition than those from non-smoking homes, regardless of their family's socio-economic status.

The results were based on a study of children admitted to Alder Hey Children's Hospital diagnosed with bronchiolitis.

Some 25 in every 1,000 babies are admitted to hospital with bronchiolitis each winter and around 10% of these need the support of a ventilator.

Dr Calum Semple, from the Institute of Child Health, said: "This study provides the first robust evidence that the adverse health effects of smoking can be distinguished from the health effects of social deprivation."

The findings have been published in PLoS One.

PLoS One