Does passive smoking in early pregnancy increase the risk of small-for-gestational-age infants?

Am J Public Health. 1998 Oct;88(10):1523-7. doi: 10.2105/ajph.88.10.1523.


Objectives: This study tested the hypothesis that women who deliver small-for-gestational-age infants are more often exposed to passive smoking at home or at work.

Methods: Among a 1-year cohort of nulliparous women in the city of Malmö, Sweden 872 (87.7%) women completed a questionnaire during their first prenatal visit. The study was carried out among women whose pregnancies resulted in a singleton live birth (n = 826), 6.7% of infants were classified as small for their gestational age.

Results: Passive smoking in early pregnancy was shown to double a woman's risk of delivering a small-for-gestational-age infant, independent of potential confounding factors such as age, height, weight, nationality, educational level, and the mother's own active smoking (odds ratio [OR] = 2.7). A stratified analysis indicated interactional effects of maternal smoking and passive smoking on relative small-for-gestational-age risk.

Conclusions: Based on an attributable risk estimate, a considerable reduction in the incidence of small-for-gestational-age births could be reached if pregnant women were not exposed to passive smoking.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Small for Gestational Age*
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Maternal Age
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects*


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution