Smoking early in pregnancy linked to risk of heart defects in infants

March 1st, 2011 - 4:14 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, March 1 (ANI): A new study has found that maternal cigarette smoking in the first trimester was associated with a 20 to 70 percent greater likelihood that a baby would be born with certain types of congenital heart defects.

Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defects, contributing to approximately 30 percent of infant deaths from birth defects annually, reports English.news.cn.

The study found an association between tobacco exposure and certain types of defects such as those that obstruct the flow of blood from the right side of the heart into the lungs (right ventricular outflow tract obstructions) and openings between the upper chambers of the heart (atrial septal defects).

The research conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was published in the journal Pediatrics.

“Women who smoke and are thinking about becoming pregnant need to quit smoking and, if they’re already pregnant, they need to stop,” said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden.

“Successfully stopping smoking during pregnancy also lowers the chances of pregnancy complications such as preterm delivery and that an infant will have other complications such as low birth weight,” said Adolfo Correa, medical officer in CDC.

The findings are based on a large population-based case-control study of congenital heart defects conducted in the United States; 2,525 case and 3,435 control infants born from 1981 to 1989 were included in this analysis. (ANI)

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