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The relationship between regular second-hand smoke exposure at home and indictors of lung function in healthy school boys in Khartoum
  1. Tarig Hakim Merghani,
  2. Amal M Saeed
  1. Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Tarig Hakim Merghani, Department of Physiology, University of Khartoum, Faculty of Medicine, Khartoum 11115, Sudan; tarighm{at}


Background Exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke at home has been linked to many complications, including impaired lung ventilatory function; however, there is great variation in intensity of this complication between individuals of different countries. The aim of this study was to determine relationship between regular second-hand smoke exposure at home and the spirometric derived values forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory flow 50% and peak expiratory flow rate in healthy school boys in Khartoum.

Methods A total of 135 male school pupils were selected randomly from three governmental primary schools for boys in Khartoum. Inclusion criteria were healthy school pupil, 9–14 years old, not active smoker, either exposed regularly to cigarette smoke at home since birth or not exposed to cigarette smoke or any other type of smoke inside or outside the house. All spirometric measurements were performed using Clement Clarke All-flow Spirometer.

Results 69 school pupils were exposed regularly to second-hand smoke at home, whereas 66 pupils were not. Fathers were responsible for 67.5% of second-hand smoke at home; relatives for 30% and mothers for 2.5%. Mean FVC (±SD) was 2.21 ±0.57 l for the exposed pupils and 2.41 ±0.35 l for the non-exposed, showing reduction by about 8%. Mean FEV1 (mean ±SD) was 2.03 ±0.46 l for the exposed and 2.20 ±0.42 l for the non-exposed, indicating reduction by about 7%. The differences between the two groups were statistically significant (p<0.05).

Conclusion Regular second-hand smoke exposure at home causes significant reduction in FVC and FEV1 by about 7%–8% in school pupils in Khartoum.

  • Cotinine
  • environment
  • smoking-caused disease
  • nicotine
  • second-hand smoke

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  • Funding This work was supported by German Academic Exchange Service ‘DAAD’ grant number (section 413, Code No.: A/07/09076; Budgetary: 334400109).

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Written consents were obtained from the parents before entry into the study.

  • Ethics approval The study was approved by Research Committee, Faculty of Medicine, University of Khartoum, Sudan.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.