New Study Reveals Frightening Numbers About Smoking While Pregnant

  • New Study Reveals Frightening Numbers About Smoking While Pregnant

New Study Reveals Frightening Numbers About Smoking While Pregnant

Carried out by researchers at Seattle Children's Research Institute and Microsoft data scientists, the new study looked at data on 20,685,463 United States births between 2007 and 2011, including 19,127 cases of SUID.

Women smoking an average of between one and 20 cigarettes a day increase the odds by 0.07 with each cigarette smoked - but even women who smoked before their pregnancy saw an increased risk in their child dying from sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) - an unexplainable death of an otherwise healthy baby less than a year old.

New research has linked smoking before and during pregnancy with an increased risk of sudden unexpected infant death syndrome.

Not only that, but researchers say if the woman smokes a pack a day while pregnant, the baby's risk of unexpected sudden death almost triples compared to infants of non-smokers.

Of those live births, more than 19,000 deaths over the four-year period were attributed to SUID, caused by sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), an unknown cause or accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed, researchers found.

For the research, the group utilized computational demonstrating procedures to dissect maternal cigarette smoking propensities for around 20 million births in the US.

Researchers also estimated that 800 deaths of the 3,700 total SUIDs every year in the US could be prevented if women abstained from smoking during pregnancy.

On the other hand, mothers who smoked three months before getting pregnant but quit in the first trimester still had a higher risk of SUID when compared to non-smokers.

"With this information, doctors can better counsel pregnant women about their smoking habits, knowing that the number of cigarettes smoked daily during pregnancy significantly impacts the risk for SUID", said Dr. Tatiana Anderson. Furthermore, while the effects of smoking during pregnancy were derived from the entire cohort, the effects of smoking before pregnancy were determined using only data from 2011 (3.1 million total births and 2585 SUIDs). Smoking by mothers, fathers and anyone else around pregnant women and babies may increase not just the risk of SUID but also childhood asthma and respiratory illnesses, Goodstein added.

Anderson said that the data from this study supports public health efforts aimed at encouraging women to quit smoking well before pregnancy.

Both parents should quit smoking before trying to conceive, said Michael Gradisar, a psychology researcher at Flinders University in Australia who wasn't involved in the study.