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Smoking during pregnancy can harm baby’s brain

During pregnancy smoking contributes to significant problems in utero and after the birth problems like low birth weight and attentional difficulties.

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New York- During pregnancy, mothers who smoke are at risk of metal disorders in their babies, warns a study.

According to the study, higher maternal nicotine level in the mother’s blood increased the odds 38 percent of having schizophrenia among their offsring.

Nicotine readily crosses the placenta into the foetal bloodstream, specifically targets foetal brain development, causing short- and long-term changes in cognition and potentially contributes to other neuro-developmental abnormalities.

“To our knowledge, this is the first biomarker-based study to show a relationship between foetal nicotine exposure and schizophrenia,” said senior author Alan Brown from Columbia University’s medical centre in the US.

“We employed a nationwide sample with the highest number of schizophrenia cases to date in a study of this type,” Brown added in the paper published online in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

The team examined nearly 1,000 cases of schizophrenia and matched controls among offspring born in Finland from 1983-1998, who were ascertained from the country’s national registry.

The findings persisted after adjusting for important confounding factors including maternal and parental psychiatric history, socio-economic status and maternal age.

smoking pregnant lady outside hospital
smoking pregnant lady outside hospital

Heavy smoking based on cotinine, a reliable marker of nicotine in maternal sera, was reported by 20 percent of the mothers of cases, but only 14.7 percent of the mothers of controls.

During pregnancy smoking contributes to significant problems in utero and after the birth problems like low birth weight and attentional difficulties.

“These findings underscore the value of ongoing public health education on the potentially debilitating and largely preventable, consequences that smoking may have on children over time,” Brown noted.

The study also showed that the mother who smoked during pregnancy have an increased risk of bipolar disorder after giving birth.(IANS)

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  • AJ Krish

    Some sacrifices are a must ,if the health of the mother and the baby are at stake.Hope they realise it really soon.

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Pregnant Women Having High Blood Pressure Have Greater Heart Disease Risk: Study

The study suggests that all women be screened for preeclampsia throughout their pregnancy and that treatment be given to those with preeclampsia within five years after birth

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Pregnant
Approximately two to eight per cent of pregnant women worldwide are diagnosed with preeclampsia, a complication characterised by high blood pressure that usually begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy in women whose blood pressure had been normal. Pixabay

Women with high blood pressure in their first pregnancy have a greater risk of heart attack or cardiovascular death, researchers have warned.

“Women who were diagnosed with preeclampsia tended also to have a history of chronic high blood pressure, gestational diabetes and kidney disease and other medical conditions,” said study lead author Mary Downes Gastrich, Associate Professor at Rutgers University in the US.

Approximately two to eight per cent of pregnant women worldwide are diagnosed with preeclampsia, a complication characterised by high blood pressure that usually begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy in women whose blood pressure had been normal.

Doctors haven’t identified a single cause, but it is thought to be related to insufficiently formed placental blood vessels. Preeclampsia is also the cause of 15 per cent of premature births in the US.

For the findings, the researchers analysed cardiovascular disease in 6,360 women, age 18 to 54, who were pregnant for the first time and diagnosed with preeclampsia in New Jersey hospitals from 1999 to 2013 and compared them to pregnant women without preeclampsia.

Heart
Women with high blood pressure in their first pregnancy have a greater risk of heart attack or cardiovascular death, researchers have warned. Pixabay

They found that those with the condition were four times more likely to suffer a heart attack or cardiovascular death and more than two times more likely to die from other causes during the 15-year study period.

The study suggests that all women be screened for preeclampsia throughout their pregnancy and that treatment be given to those with preeclampsia within five years after birth.

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“Medication such as low-dose aspirin also may be effective in bringing down blood pressure as early as the second trimester,” Gastrich said. (IANS)