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Saturday 15th June 2019

Stillbirth risk increased from passive smoking

14th March 2011

A study by researchers at Nottingham University has found passive smoking could heighten the danger of stillbirth and birth defects.


The team said pregnant women who were around people who smoked on a regular basis increased their risk of stillbirth by 23% and birth defects by 13%.

They examined studies from 19 countries worldwide, from the continents of South America, North America, Asia and Europe.

All the studies looked at pregnant women who did not smoke but had a relationship with someone who smoked or worked with colleagues who smoked.

The team said women who were exposed to 10 cigarettes a day or more had a heightened risk of stillbirth and birth defects.

Dr Jo Leonardi-Bee, lead researcher of the study and associate professor in medical statistics at the University of Nottingham, said they did not understand at what time the exposure to smoke began to affect the developing foetus.

"What we still don't know is whether it is the effect of sidestream smoke that the woman inhales that increases these particular risks or whether it is the direct effect of mainstream smoke that the father inhales during smoking that affects sperm development, or possibly both," she said.

"More research is needed into this issue although we already know that smoking does have an impact on sperm development, so it is very important that men quit smoking before trying for a baby," she added.


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