Adolescent smoking in pregnancy and birth outcomes

Ali Delpisheh, Eman Attia, Sandra Drammond, Bernard J. Brabin

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INTRODUCTION: Cigarette smoking amongst pregnant adolescents is a preventable risk factor associated with low birthweight ( <2,500 g), preterm birth ( <37 weeks) and infant mortality. The aim of this study was to compare birth outcomes of adolescents who smoke during pregnancy with those who do not and to construct their birthweight-for-gestational-age curves. METHODS: A retrospective cohort analysis of 534 adolescents ( <or=19 years) and 8972 adults who delivered singleton births between 1998-2003 at the Liverpool Women's Hospital. RESULTS: Adolescent pregnancy occurred in 5.6% of deliveries. Mean age of adolescents was 18.1 years (SD = 1.0) and 46.2% smoked during pregnancy including 83.5% light smokers ( <10 cigarettes daily). Babies born to adolescent smokers were significantly lighter by -170 g (P = 0.005). The prevalence of low birthweight was almost double in adolescents who smoked (12.1% versus 6.8%, RR = 1.7; CI = 1.0-3.0), and their mean Apgar scores at 5 min were lower ( <0.05). A higher prevalence of preterm birth (P < 0.05) and maternal anaemia (P < 0.01) occurred amongst adolescent smokers. Adolescents smoking >10 cigarettes daily had babies with larger birthweight reduction (P = 0.001). CONCLUSION: Almost half of all adolescents smoked during their pregnancy. Birthweight-for-gestational-age curves of smoking adolescents showed a marked fall-off in weight from 36 weeks of gestation, and at least 10% of adolescent smokers showed fetal growth restriction from before 32 weeks of gestation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-172
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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