Smoking while pregnant increase risk of sudden unexpected infant death syndrome

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

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

The Seattle Children's Research Institute worked in collaboration with Microsoft data scientists for their study, published in the journal Pediatrics Monday.

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.

To understand how SUID deaths relate to maternal cigarette use, researchers analyzed data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on smoking habits in pregnant women who had given birth between 2007 and 2011.

"The most important takeaway is for women to understand that quitting smoking before and during pregnancy by far results in the greatest reduction in the SUID risk", she said.

Sudden unexpected infant death defined as (SUID).

Anderson added that if no women smoked during pregnancy, the researchers the current SUID rates could be lowered by 22 per cent.

To better understand how smoking contributed to SUID risk, the researchers used computational modelling techniques to analyse maternal cigarette smoking habits for all USA live births from 2007 to 2011.

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The research likewise demonstrated moms who smoked three months before pregnancy and quit in the primary trimester still had a higher danger of SUID contrasted and non-smokers.

Females who reduced smoking in the third trimester experienced a 12 percent decrease in the risk of SUID.

The harmful effects of smoking are not unknown.

For women who did smoke during pregnancy, each additional daily cigarette from 1 to 20 increased the odds of SUID by seven percent.

The researchers did find ways for women to reduce their risk of SUID.

"Since many women who smoke during pregnancy continue to smoke after they deliver, it is a little hard to separate out the effects of prenatal and postnatal cigarette smoke exposure", said Dr. Michael Goodstein, division chief of WellSpan Health Neonatology in York, Pennsylvania.

Babies exposed to smoke in the womb or early in life may be especially vulnerable to these hazards, said Anna Pease, a researcher at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom who wasn't involved in the study.

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