Growth from birth to early adolescence in offspring prenatally exposed to cigarettes and marijuana

Neurotoxicol Teratol. Sep-Oct 1999;21(5):513-25. doi: 10.1016/s0892-0362(99)00009-4.


Weight, height, and head circumference were examined in children from birth to early adolescence for whom prenatal exposure to marijuana and cigarettes had been ascertained. The subjects were from a low-risk, predominantly middle-class sample participating in an ongoing longitudinal study. The negative association between growth measures at birth and prenatal cigarette exposure was overcome, sooner in males than females, within the first few years, and by the age of six, the children of heavy smokers were heavier than control subjects. Pre and postnatal environmental tobacco smoke did not have a negative effect upon the growth parameters; however, the choice of bottle-feeding or shorter duration of breast-feeding by women who smoked during pregnancy appeared to play an important positive role in the catch-up observed among the infants of smokers. Prenatal exposure to marijuana was not significantly related to any growth measures at birth, although a smaller head circumference observed at all ages reached statistical significance among the early adolescents born to the heavy marijuana users.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Birth Weight / drug effects
  • Body Height / drug effects
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Breast Feeding
  • Cannabis / adverse effects*
  • Child
  • Child Development / drug effects
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Growth / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution