Smoking linked to poor infant health

Nov. 5, 2008 at 6:35 PM   |   Comments

| License Photo
CINCINNATI, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- U.S. and European researchers found women who smoked during pregnancy were nearly 2.5 times more likely to have babies with oral clefts.

Dr. Gary Shaw of the March of Dimes and colleagues from institutes in Norway, Holland and Texas, studied serum samples collected between 2003 and 2005 from pregnant women enrolled in the California Expanded AFP -- alpha fetoprotein -- program. The researchers measured the levels of cotinine -- a metabolite of nicotine -- to determine whether the mothers smoked during pregnancy. They found that women who smoked during pregnancy were nearly 2.5 times more likely to have babies with oral clefts.

"Babies with oral clefts require significant medical care -- often four surgeries by age 2 -- and may have speech, hearing, and feeding problems," Shaw said in a statement.

In a related study, Dr. Laura Stroud and colleagues from Brown University studied the effects of cigarette smoke exposure on infant behavior. The researchers studied 56 otherwise healthy infants and used questionnaires and cotinine measurements to determine cigarette smoke exposure. They found that the 28 babies who had been exposed to cigarette smoke were more irritable and difficult to sooth than the 28 babies who were not exposed.

The findings are scheduled to be published in The Journal of Pediatrics.

Topics: Gary Shaw
© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
New research explains insomnia prevalence among elderly
Police search for California man with drug-resistant TB
New data shows Melbourne is most well-rested city in the world
New research details rare cancer that killed Bob Marley
Daughters more likely than sons to care for elder parents
Trending News