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Smoking During Pregnancy Increases Risk of Congenital Heart Disease in Babies

A study suggests that infants born to mothers who smoked during pregnancy are at increased risk of developing congenital heart disease or CHD.

Photo: Pregnant Woman Smoking | InStyleHealth

Study included seven European birth groups, which comprised a total of 232,390 offspring and 2,469 CHD cases or 1.1%. CHD prevalence was close to 1% in most cohorts, with the lowest being 0.4% and highest at 1.4%.

The average maternal age was generally similar across the group, all late 20s to early 30s. Same was true for average body mass index or BMI, although the proportions in different categories varied, with the lowest prevalence of pre-pregnancy/early-pregnancy obesity recorded at 5% and highest at 21%. There were also differences in maternal smoking and alcohol consumption across the group, with the highest prevalence rates being 25-26% for smoking and 45-55% for alcohol use.

Using multivariable logistic regression models revealed that the odds of offspring were greater among women who with overweight or obesity as opposed to normal weight. Although, no clear evidence of a linear increase in odds was seen across the whole BMI distribution.

Outcomes for paternal overweight, obesity, and average BMI were similar to the maternal correlations.

Maternal smoking during pregnancy conferred higher odds of offspring CHD, while paternal smoking did not. A positive correlation seen for maternal smoking appeared to be driven by non-severe CHD cases.

Offspring CHD revealed no correlations with maternal moderate/heavy pregnancy alcohol consumption, as was the case with paternal consumption.

Results emphasizes the importance of quitting smoking during pregnancy.

Source: J Am Heart Assoc 2021;doi:10.1161/JAHA.120.020051

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