The effects of maternal smoking during pregnancy on offspring outcomes

Prev Med. Jan-Feb 2010;50(1-2):13-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2009.12.009. Epub 2009 Dec 21.

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the possible association between maternal smoking during pregnancy and offspring outcomes of birth weight, pre-term birth, remediation, low scholastic achievement, regular smoking, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and conduct problems while controlling for similar behaviors in parents.

Methods: Using telephone interviews, data were collected, in 2001 and 2004, as a part of two United States offspring-of-twins projects. Fathers, who were twins participating in the Vietnam Era Twin Registry, their female spouse and their offspring were interviewed - information on 1,342 unique pregnancies in mothers with a history of regular smoking was utilized for these analyses. The association between maternal smoking during pregnancy and birth weight, pre-term birth, remediation, low scholastic achievement, regular smoking, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and conduct disorder while controlling for similar behaviors in parents, was examined using regression.

Results: Maternal smoking during pregnancy was associated with decreased birth weight, low scholastic achievement, regular smoking and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, the association between maternal smoking during pregnancy and offspring attention deficit hyperactivity disorder was explained by maternal attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Maternal smoking during pregnancy was also associated with earlier age of offspring initiation of smoking and onset of regular smoking.

Conclusions: Maternal smoking during pregnancy may influence certain offspring outcomes via mechanisms that are independent from genetic risk attributable to comorbid conditions. Assisting expecting mothers with their smoking cessation efforts will likely provide widespread health benefits to both mother and offspring.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Twin Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / epidemiology
  • Birth Weight
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Risk
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • United States
  • Young Adult