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Early-Pregnancy Smoking Cessation Beneficial

-- Rick Ansorge

Friday, March 27, 2009

FRIDAY, March 27 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women who stop smoking before 15 weeks' gestation can reduce their risk of spontaneous preterm birth and small-for-gestational-age infants to the same level of pregnant non-smokers, according to research published online March 26 in BMJ.

Lesley M.E. McCowan, M.D., of the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and colleagues compared pregnancy outcomes in 2,504 nulliparous women, including 1,992 (80 percent) who were non-smokers, 261 (10 percent) who had stopped smoking, and 251 (10 percent) who were current smokers at 15 weeks' gestation.

The researchers found that non-smokers and stopped smokers had identical rates of spontaneous preterm birth and small-for-gestational-age infants (4 percent and 10 percent, respectively). Stopped smokers had significantly lower rates of spontaneous preterm birth and small-for-gestational-age infants than current smokers (4 percent versus 10 percent, and 10 percent versus 17 percent, respectively), the report indicates.

"Our data should not be misinterpreted as a justification to reduce efforts to assist pregnant women to strive to become smoke free if they still smoke after 16 weeks' gestation," the authors write. "Improved pregnancy outcomes have been reported in women who stop by as late as 32 weeks' gestation. Moreover, stopping smoking at any gestation in pregnancy, if sustained in the postpartum period, has enormous additional benefits on newborn and child health."

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Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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