We assessed the relationship between acute and intermittent secondhand tobacco smoke (SHS) exposure with child and adolescent blood pressure (BP). We analyzed cross-sectional data from 3579 children and adolescents aged 8–17 years participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) collected between 2007 and 2012, with SHS exposure assessed via serum cotinine (a biomarker for acute exposures) and urine NNAL (4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol, a biomarker for intermittent exposures). BP percentiles and z-scores were calculated according to the 2017 guidelines established by the American Academy of Pediatrics. We used weighted linear regression accounting for the complex sampling weights from NHANES and adjusting for socio-demographic and clinical characteristics. Overall, 56% of the children were non-Hispanic white with a mean age of 12.6 years. There was approximately equal representation of boys and girls. Approximately 15.9% of participants lived in homes where smoking was present. In adjusted models, an interquartile range (IQR) increase in urinary NNAL was associated with 0.099 (95% CI: 0.033, 0.16) higher diastolic blood pressure (DBP) z-score, and with a 0.094 (95% CI: 0.011, 0.18) higher systolic blood pressure (SBP) z-score. The odds of being in the hypertensive range was 1.966 (95% CI: 1.31, 2.951) times greater among children with high NNAL exposures compared to those with undetectable NNAL. For serum cotinine, an IQR increase was associated with 0.097 (95% CI: 0.020, 0.17) higher DBP z-scores, but was not significantly associated with SBP z-scores. The associations of cotinine and NNAL with BP also differed by sex. Our findings provide the first characterization of the relationship between a major tobacco-specific metabolite, NNAL, and BP z-scores in a nationally representative population of US children.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106052
JournalPreventive Medicine
StatePublished - May 2020


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