Exposure to tobacco smoke in utero and the risk of stillbirth and death in the first year of life

Am J Epidemiol. 2001 Aug 15;154(4):322-7. doi: 10.1093/aje/154.4.322.


The authors examined the association between exposure to tobacco smoke in utero and the risk of stillbirth and infant death in a cohort of 25,102 singleton children of pregnant women scheduled to deliver at Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark, from September 1989 to August 1996. Exposure to tobacco smoke in utero was associated with an increased risk of stillbirth (odds ratio = 2.0, 95% confidence interval: 1.4, 2.9), and infant mortality was almost doubled in children born to women who had smoked during pregnancy compared with children of nonsmokers (odds ratio = 1.8, 95% confidence interval: 1.3, 2.6). Among children of women who stopped smoking during the first trimester, stillbirth and infant mortality was comparable with that in children of women who had been nonsmokers from the beginning of pregnancy. Conclusions were not changed after adjustment in a logistic regression model for the sex of the child; parity; or maternal age, height, weight, marital status, years of education, occupational status, and alcohol and caffeine intake during pregnancy. Approximately 25% of all stillbirths and 20% of all infant deaths in a population with 30% pregnant smokers could be avoided if all pregnant smokers stopped smoking by the sixteenth week of gestation.

MeSH terms

  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Fetal Death / chemically induced*
  • Fetal Death / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Logistic Models
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome / epidemiology*
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / statistics & numerical data


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution