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Smoking during pregnancy may raise risk for heart defects in babies
Date:5/3/2014

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA Women who smoke during pregnancy may be putting their newborns at risk for congenital heart defects, and the more they smoke, the higher the risk, according to a study to be presented Saturday, May 3, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Cigarette smoking during pregnancy has been linked to many birth defects, such as cleft lips and palates, and missing and deformed limbs. Some studies also suggest maternal smoking may be associated with heart defects.

The authors of this study used birth certificate data and hospital discharge records from Washington state to determine if maternal smoking during the first trimester of pregnancy is linked to heart defects and if so, what types of defects.

"I care for kids with complex congenital heart disease on a daily basis, and I see these kids and their families enduring long hospitalizations and often sustaining serious long-term complications as a result of their disease. Usually, the cause of a heart defect is unknown. I saw this research as an opportunity to study what might be a preventable cause of congenital heart defects," said lead author Patrick M. Sullivan, MD, FAAP, clinical fellow in pediatric cardiology at Seattle Children's Hospital and a master's student in epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health.

Using hospital discharge records, researchers identified 14,128 children born with a variety of heart defects from 1989-2011. They matched these cases to 62,274 children without heart defects born in the same year. Then, they compared the proportion of children with heart defects whose mothers reported smoking during pregnancy to the proportion of children without heart defects whose mothers smoked. Mothers' smoking status, as well as how much they smoked daily, was available from birth certificates.

Results showed that children with heart defects were
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Contact: Debbie Jacobson
djacobson@aap.org
847-434-7084
American Academy of Pediatrics
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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