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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.


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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Smoking may up risk of hearing loss

smoking (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
  • There are many harmful effects of smoking
  • Smoking may also lead to a loss of hearing
  • For smokers, it can get difficult to listen to low-frequency sounds

Smokers beware. You may be at a higher risk of suffering hearing loss, as a new study suggests that smoking affects the ability to hear both high and low-frequency sounds.

“These results provide strong evidence to support that smoking is a causal factor for hearing loss and emphasise the need for tobacco control to prevent or delay the development of hearing loss,” said lead author Huanhuan Hu from the National Centre for Global Health and Medicine in Japan.

Other than chronic diseases, lifestyle habits like smoking causes cancer too. Pixabay
Smoking can cause loss of hearing. Pixabay

For the study, published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research, researchers included 50,195 people, aged between 20 to 64 years and free of hearing loss.

The researchers analysed data from annual health checkups, which included audio testing performed by a technician and a health-related lifestyle questionnaire completed by each participant.

Also Read: Stop smoking and eat healthy to avoid obesity

They examined the effects of smoking status (current, former and never smokers), the number of cigarettes smoked per day, and the duration of smoking cessation on the extent of hearing loss. The participants were followed up for a maximum of eight years.

Even after adjusting for factors including occupational noise exposure, researchers noted a 1.2 to 1.6 increased risk of hearing loss among current smokers compared with never smokers.

Smoking causes failure of Dental fillings
Smokers are at higher risk of losing their ability to listen low-frequency sounds. Pixabay

During follow-up, 3,532 individuals developed high-frequency hearing loss, and 1,575 developed low-frequency hearing loss. While the association between smoking and high-frequency hearing loss was stronger than that of low-frequency hearing loss, the risk of both high and low-frequency hearing loss increased with cigarette consumption, the researcher said.

The increased risk of hearing loss decreased within five years after quitting smoking, the researcher added. “With a large sample size, long follow-up period, and objective assessment of hearing loss, our study provides strong evidence that smoking is an independent risk factor of hearing loss,” Hu said. IANS