Black preadolescents from rural, southern communities who were enrolled in a supportive parenting program were less likely to test positively for smoking at age 20, according to a study in the July 2017 Pediatrics.
The study, "Parenting Intervention at Age 11 and Cotinine Levels at Age 20 Among Black Youth" (published online June 14), found that youth who had participated in a family-centered intervention program at age 11 had significantly lower levels of cotinine in their blood at age 20.
Cotinine is a widely accepted biomarker that assesses recent smoking, with the level of cotinine in the blood proportionate to the amount of exposure to tobacco smoke. Participants in the intervention program, called Strong African American Families, resided in nine rural counties in Georgia where poverty rates are above the national average. Study participants from 500 families were selected randomly for blood draws at age 20. Those who had participated in the supportive parenting program had significantly lower serum cotinine levels than those in a control group who did not.
The authors conclude that these findings could provide a strategy for narrowing race-based health disparities.