Early Hits and Long-Term Consequences: Tracking the Lasting Impact of Prenatal Smoke Exposure on Telomere Length in Children

Early-Hits-and-Long-Term-Consequences-Tracking-the-Lasting-Impact-of-Prenatal-Smoke-Exposure-on-Telomere-Length-in-Children

Early Hits and Long-Term Consequences: Tracking the Lasting Impact of Prenatal Smoke Exposure on Telomere Length in Children (click to see original article)

Authors: Katherine P Theall, PhD, Sarah McKasson, MPH, Emily Mabile, MPH, Lauren F. Dunaway, MPH, and Stacy S. Drury, MD, PhD

Source: American Journal of Public Health (2013)

Abstract: We examined the association between telomere length and prenatal tobacco exposure (PTE) in 104 children aged 4 to 14 years. Salivary telomere length (STL) was determined from salivary DNA using quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Of the children, 18% had maternal reported PTE. Mean STL was significantly lower among children with PTE (6.4 vs 7.5, P < .05). Findings extend the literature demonstrating the negative long-term effects of PTE to include a cellular marker of aging linked to multiple negative health outcomes.