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

more likely than those without heart defects to have been born to mothers who smoked, and the risk was highest in the heaviest smokers. In addition, although women 35 years of age and older were less likely to smoke during pregnancy than younger women, older women had a higher risk of having a child with a heart defect if they smoked.

Newborns whose mothers smoked were at about a 50 to 70 percent greater risk for anomalies of the valve and vessels that carry blood to the lungs (pulmonary valve and pulmonary arteries) and about a 20 percent greater risk for holes in the wall separating the two collecting chambers of the heart (atrial septal defects). All of these defects often require invasive procedures to correct.

Researchers also found that in recent years about 10 percent of women giving birth reported smoking during pregnancy. They estimated that maternal smoking during the first trimester may account for 1 to 2 percent of all heart defects.

"Women, particularly younger women, are still smoking while pregnant, despite largely successful public health efforts to reduce smoking in the general public over the past few decades," Dr. Sullivan concluded. "Ongoing cigarette use during pregnancy is a serious problem that increases the risk of many adverse outcomes in newborns. Our research provides strong support for the hypothesis that smoking while pregnant increases the risk of specific heart defects."


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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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