Smoking during pregnancy increased the risk of sudden death of the child by five times
Experts from Rutgers University have identified the effects of smoking during pregnancy. An unhealthy habit can increase the risk of sudden death of a child by up to five times. The results of the work are presented in the Journal of Perinatology.
The authors performed a statistical analysis based on data from more than four million pregnant women obtained from the US National Center for Health Statistics for 2012-2013. Factors such as the race of the pregnant participants were also taken into account. They were divided into groups depending on when they smoked: never, only before pregnancy, before pregnancy plus the first, second or all trimesters.
Scientists have come to the conclusion that the rate of death of children during the first year after birth is 1.07 per 1000 babies born to black mothers who never smoked. At the same time, the figure rose to 3.80 for children born to those who smoked during pregnancy. About ten percent of black women who survived children smoked during or before pregnancy, compared with almost a quarter of mothers whose children died.
For infants of white mothers, the death rate also increased due to exposure to tobacco smoke, rising from 0.34 per 1,000 children born in never-smokers to 2.33 in children of smokers. About 16 percent of European mothers of surviving infants smoked during or before pregnancy, while about half of women of sudden death infants also smoked.
Summing up, the experts concluded that the overall probability of death of children of smoking mothers can increase to about five times that of children who never smoked. Duration of smoking had an increasing correlation with death regardless of race: the highest levels of risk were recorded when smoking continued throughout pregnancy.