Middle-aged smokers who grew up with mothers who had smoked heavily (more than 20 cigarettes per day) had a nearly three-fold greater risk of developing COPD than those with much less secondhand smoke exposure during childhood in a newly reported study.

The population-based study — the first to attempt to quantify the impact of maternal smoking during childhood on lung function later in life, the authors said — showed heavy maternal smoking to be associated with post-bronchodilator airflow obstruction in middle age.

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