A new study shows once again how much smoking during pregnancy can be discouraged in relation to various diseases that smoking itself can cause in the unborn child. This time the study, published in BMJ, shows that smoking during pregnancy may be linked to an increased risk of fracture of the baby during its first year of life.
The observational study, carried out by Swedish researchers, does not show that there are lasting effects on the risk of fractures after childhood and until early adulthood: this suggests that mothers smoking during pregnancy causes a short-term influence on the bone health of their children, which is no less serious.
As researchers point out, the number of studies that correlate the mother’s smoking during pregnancy and the risk of fractures in children at different stages of their lives is quite low and this research fills this gap a bit. The researchers analyzed data from 1.6 million people born between 1983 and 2000 in Sweden to women who smoked or did not smoke at the beginning of their pregnancy.
The subjects were followed up to an average age of 21 years (up to a maximum age of 32 years). By also benchmarking between siblings, the researchers found that smoking on the mother’s side could be associated with a higher fracture rate in children during the first year of age.
The data generally suggested that the risk of fractures after childhood and up to early adulthood began to be attributed to family factors rather than maternal exposure to smoking in utero. The link, however, stressing that this is an observational study that cannot establish a direct cause, therefore seems to exist only for the first year of the child’s life.