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Pregnancy, smoking and birth outcomes

Delpisheh, Ali, Brabin, Loretta and Brabin, Bernard (2006) 'Pregnancy, smoking and birth outcomes'. Women's Health, Vol 2, Issue 3, pp. 389-403.

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This review summarizes the epidemiology and consequences of maternal smoking in pregnancy, with emphasis on the adverse effects on birth outcomes. In developed countries, approximately 15%, and in developing countries, approximately 8% of women smoke cigarettes, and adolescents and women from lower socioeconomic groups are more likely than other women to smoke while pregnant. Maternal smoking during pregnancy is the largest modifiable risk factor for intrauterine growth restriction. A meta-analysis of recent studies showed that the pooled estimate for reduction of mean birthweight was 174 g (95% confidence limits 132–220 g). Other studies confirm a weaker association between maternal smoking and preterm birth. The population attributable risk of low birthweight due to maternal smoking in the UK is estimated to be 29–39%. Tobacco smoke toxins damage the placenta and may lead to placental abruption, abortion or placenta praevia. Infants of mothers who smoke in pregnancy are at an increased risk of respiratory complications including asthma, obesity and, possibly, behavioral disorders. These effects may be dose-related, as there is good evidence that mean birthweight decrements are greater with increased numbers of cigarettes smoked during pregnancy. Cotinine is a useful indicator of tobacco smoke exposure in pregnant women and higher levels in body fluids have been related to lower birthweights. Maternal genetic polymorphisms of the cytochrome P (CYP)450 and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) subfamilies of metabolic genes influence the magnitude of the effect of nicotine exposure on birth outcomes through their influence on nicotine metabolism. Greatly increased risk of cigarette smoke-induced diseases, including low birthweight, has been found in individuals with susceptible genotypes. Interventions to control maternal smoking are also considered.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: birthweight; cotinine; environmental tobacco smoke; fetal growth; foetal growth; pregnancy; preterm; cigarette smoking
Subjects: WQ Obstetrics > Pregnancy Complications > WQ 240 Pregnancy complications (General)
WS Pediatrics > By Age Groups > WS 420 Newborn infants. Neonatology
Faculty: Department: Groups (2002 - 2012) > Child & Reproductive Health Group
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Ms Julia Martin
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2011 11:30
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:01


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