Smoking in pregnancy ups risk of SIDS threefold
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Up to 40% of cases of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) could be avoided if all pregnant women quit smoking during pregnancy, Danish researchers report.
Their study in the Archives of Disease in Childhood also found the risk of SIDS increased with the number of cigarettes the mother smoked, regardless of alcohol and caffeine intake, maternal height and weight before pregnancy, education, occupational or marital status, and the number of prenatal care visits.
``Our study adds to earlier evidence for an association between smoking during pregnancy and SIDS,'' according to Kirsten Wisborg from Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues.
``Approximately 30% to 40% of all cases of SIDS could be avoided if all pregnant women stopped smoking in a population with 30% pregnant smokers,'' the authors write.
However, the researchers are not sure whether differences in social factors or other lifestyle variables between smokers and nonsmokers underlie the apparent association between smoking and SIDS.
SIDS is the leading cause of death in infants between the ages of 1 month and 1 year. Risk factors include low birth weight, putting an infant to sleep on his/her stomach, and overheating while sleeping.
In the current study, nearly 25,000 pregnant women responded to a survey investigating their smoking habits at 16 and 30 weeks into their pregnancies. According to the results, 30% to 40% of women surveyed stopped smoking in early pregnancy. However, after the first trimester, very few quit.
Wisborg and colleagues note that they did not have information about maternal smoking habits after delivery.