Article Type

Original Study


Objective The aim of the study was to measure urinary cotinine level as a biomarker of passive smoking in children. Background Children«SQ»s exposure to passive smoking is associated with a number of health hazards such as prenatal damage to the fetus, poor growth, respiratory illness, atopy and asthma, coronary heart disease, and sudden infant death syndrome. Materials and methods This study was conducted on 54 nondiabetic children from attendance of Genetic and Endocrine Units of Pediatric Department, Menofiya Faculty of Medicine. They were divided into two groups: group A (34 children exposed to passive smoking) and group B (20 children not exposed to passive smoking). The studied groups were subjected to detailed history taking, clinical examination, investigations (measurement of cotinine level by competitive enzyme immunoassay for the specific detection of cotinine in urine samples), and family counseling. Results There is significantly higher urinary cotinine levels among children with history of exposure to passive tobacco smoke (152.06 ± 106.92) in comparison with children with no history of exposure (3095.0 ± 1160.09; P ≤ 0.001). The urinary cotinine levels were found to be dependent on daily exposure to tobacco smoke as indicated by the number of cigarettes consumed by the smoker in the presence of the child. Conclusion Passive smoking is a risk factor for many health hazards, and cotinine is a valuable biomarker for assessing exposure to passive tobacco smoking especially in children.