Smoking During Pregnancy Increases Risk of Behavioral Problems in Children –

A recent study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health has revealed that women who continue to smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have children with behavioral problems. Disturbances caused can show signs as early as when the child is three years old.
For the sake of the study, over 14,000 mothers and child pairs were observed. The pairs were picked from the millennium cohort study. All the children observed had been born between 2000 and 2001. Professor Kate Pickett from the Hull York medical school, University of York, carried out the research.
Mothers, who were categorized as light or heavy smokers with regards to the number of cigarettes they smoked each day during pregnancy, were given a questionnaire which required them to score their children’s behavior. While 12.5% women said they smoked lightly and 12.4% said they had stopped smoking altogether when pregnant, 10% admitted to smoking heavily all throughout the term.
Based on the data collected, the study confirmed that children whose mothers smoked heavily were two times more prone to behavioral problems, a thing which kept going down as the number of cigarettes smoked during pregnancy went down. According to the study, smoking when pregnant, damages the developing structure and functioning of the fetus’s brain. Boy fetuses are more prone to damage. 3/11/2009

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