Grandmaternal smoking, asthma and lung function in the offspring: the Lifelines cohort study.
Limited research exists regarding the association between grandmaternal smoking during pregnancy and the risk for asthma and altered lung function in grandchildren. This study aimed to investigate this association in a three-generation design.37 291 participants (25 747 adults and 11 544 children) were included from the Lifelines study, a prospective longitudinal three generation cohort study in The Netherlands. Spirometry was available in 69.5% and 61.1% of the included adults and children. Logistic and linear regression were used to analyse the association between grandmaternal smoking during pregnancy and (1) asthma, (2) early childhood asthma (ie, onset before 6 years) and (3) lung function level. Maternal and paternal grandmaternal smoking were studied separately and the analyses were stratified by adult/child and by gender. The analyses were adjusted for gender, current smoking, birth variables and socioeconomic status.In the adult population, maternal grandmaternal smoking during pregnancy was associated with a higher risk for asthma (OR (95% CI): 1.38 (1.06 to 1.79)), early childhood asthma (1.49 (95% CI 1.06 to 2.11)) and a lower FEV1/FVC% predicted (B (95% CI): -1.04 (-1.91 to -0.16) in men. These findings were not observed in a separate analysis of children that participated in this study. There was also no significant association between paternal grandmaternal smoking and asthma/lung function.Maternal grandmaternal smoking during pregnancy is associated with higher asthma risk and lower lung function in male grandchildren and a reverse effect in male grandchildren of subsequent generations. Our study highlights the deep-rooted effects of tobacco smoking across generations.