Intolerance of loud sounds in childhood:Is there an intergenerational association with grandmaternal smoking in pregnancy?


Recent research using the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) demonstrated an association between maternal grandmother smoking in pregnancy and the autistic traits of impaired social communication and repetitive behaviour in granddaughters but not grandsons, but of paternal grandmother smoking and early development of myopia in the grandchild. Here we investigate whether grandmaternal smoking in pregnancy is associated with intolerance to loud sounds. ALSPAC collected information during the index pregnancy from the study parents on the smoking habits, social and other features of their own parents. Maternal report when the child was aged 6 and 13 included hating loud sounds; at age 11 the child was tested for volume preference for listening to music through headphones. Statistical analysis compared results for grandchildren in relation to whether a parent had been exposed in utero to maternal smoking, adjusted for their grandparents' social and demographic attributes. We hypothesised that there would be sex differences in the effects of grandmaternal prenatal smoking, based on previous intergenerational studies. For 6-year-old children maternal report of intolerance to loud noise was more likely in grandsons if the maternal grandmother had smoked [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 1.27; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03,1.56; P = 0.025], but less likely in girls [AOR 0.82; 95%CI 0.63,1.07] Pinteraction <0.05. If the paternal grandmother had smoked the grandchildren were less likely to be intolerant, especially girls. The objective measure of choice of volume for music through headphones showed that grandsons of both maternal and paternal smoking grandmothers were less likely to choose high volumes compared with granddaughters (P<0.05). In line with our prior hypothesis of sex differences, we showed that grandsons were more intolerant of loud sounds than granddaughters particularly at age 6, and this was confirmed by objective measures at age 11.

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Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Optometry > Audiology
Additional Information: © 2020 Hall et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all),Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all),General
Publication ISSN: 1932-6203
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2024 09:27
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2020 15:04
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Related URLs: https://journal ... al.pone.0229323 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2020-02-24
Accepted Date: 2020-02-04
Authors: Hall, Amanda (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-8520-6005)
Northstone, Kate
Iles-Caven, Yasmin
Ellis, Genette
Gregory, Steve
Golding, Jean
Pembrey, Marcus



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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