Wednesday May 22, 2019

Avoid Smoking During Pregnancy To Prevent Premature Births

The negative health impacts of cigarette smoking during pregnancy, including low birth weight, delayed intrauterine development, pre-term birth, infant mortality, and long-term developmental delays, are well known. 

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The researcher plans to look at quit rates and smoking intensity and their impact on the risk of infant mortality. Pixabay

Expecting mothers, take note. As smoking during pregnancy is linked with negative health outcomes, a team of researchers has found that smoking cessation during pregnancy may reduce the risk of pre-term birth.

The findings, published in the JAMA Network Open journal, showed that the probability of pre-term birth decreased with earlier smoking cessation in pregnancy — up to a 20 per cent relative decrease if cessation occurred at the beginning of pregnancy.

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If we determine quitting, and quitting early, reduces the risk of infant mortality, then that may speak to mothers even more saliently about the importance of smoking cessation. Pixabay

“Of concern, though, given the substantial benefits of smoking cessation during pregnancy is that the proportion of pre-pregnancy smokers who quit smoking during pregnancy has remained essentially stagnant since 2011,” said lead author Samir Soneji from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in the US.

For the study, the researchers conducted a cross-sectional study of more than 25 million pregnant women who gave birth to live neonates during a six-year period — measuring their smoking frequency three months prior to pregnancy and for each trimester during pregnancy.

The negative health impacts of cigarette smoking during pregnancy, including low birth weight, delayed intrauterine development, pre-term birth, infant mortality, and long-term developmental delays, are well known.

But the good news is that the proportion of women who start their pregnancy as smokers has been declining in recent years, the researchers said.

smoking

The findings, published in the JAMA Network Open journal, showed that the probability of pre-term birth decreased with earlier smoking cessation in pregnancy — up to a 20 per cent relative decrease if cessation occurred at the beginning of pregnancy. Pixabay

However, the study also found that only about 25 per cent of women who smoked prior to pregnancy were able to quit throughout their pregnancy, and approximately 50 per cent of women who smoked during their pregnancy did so with high frequency (more than 10 cigarettes per day).

The researcher plans to look at quit rates and smoking intensity and their impact on the risk of infant mortality.

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“Thankfully most premature babies end up doing well,” he said.

“But premature birth is strongly linked to infant mortality. If we determine quitting, and quitting early, reduces the risk of infant mortality, then that may speak to mothers even more saliently about the importance of smoking cessation,” he added. (IANS)

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Researchers Claim, Men Aged 45 And Older Can Experience Decreased Fertility

Infants born to older fathers were found to be at higher risk of premature birth, late still birth, low birth weight, higher incidence of newborn seizures and birth defects such as congenital heart disease and cleft palate.

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Bachmann attributes most of these outcomes to a natural decline in testosterone that occurs with ageing, as well as sperm degradation and poorer semen quality. Pixabay

Men who delay starting a family have a ticking “biological clock” — just like women — that may affect the health of their partners and children, according to the researchers.

Men who delay fatherhood should consult their doctor and consider banking sperm before age 35, said the study which reviewed 40 years of research on the effect of parental age on fertility, pregnancy and the health of children.

“While it is widely accepted that physiological changes that occur in women after 35 can affect conception, pregnancy and the health of the child, most men do not realize their advanced age can have a similar impact,” said Gloria Bachmann, Director of the Women’s Health Institute at Rutgers University’s Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

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“For example, just as people lose muscle strength, flexibility and endurance with age, in men, sperm also tends to lose ‘fitness’ over the life cycle,” she said.Pixabay

The study, published in the journal Maturitas, found that men aged 45 and older can experience decreased fertility and put their partners at risk for increased pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and preterm birth.

Infants born to older fathers were found to be at higher risk of premature birth, late still birth, low birth weight, higher incidence of newborn seizures and birth defects such as congenital heart disease and cleft palate.

As they matured, these children were found to have an increased likelihood of childhood cancers, psychiatric and cognitive disorders, and autism.

Bachmann attributes most of these outcomes to a natural decline in testosterone that occurs with ageing, as well as sperm degradation and poorer semen quality.

“For example, just as people lose muscle strength, flexibility and endurance with age, in men, sperm also tends to lose ‘fitness’ over the life cycle,” she said.

baby
As they matured, these children were found to have an increased likelihood of childhood cancers, psychiatric and cognitive disorders, and autism. Pixabay

The study also found that older men struggled with fertility issues even if their partner was under 25.

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“While women tend to be more aware and educated than men about their reproductive health, most men do not consult with physicians unless they have a medical or fertility issue,” Bachmann said.

She recommended that physicians counsel older men as they do older women on the effect their age will have on conception, pregnancy and the health of their child. (IANS)