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Smoking could add complications to pre-eclampsia pregnancies

Mums-to-be who smoke are more likely to have complications associated with pre-eclampsia, finds study

Posted: 29 July 2010
by Kimberley Smith

Mums-to-be who smoke during their pregnancy and develop pre-eclampisa may be more likely to suffer complications associated with the condition, a study in Canada has found.

The study looked at the records of 300,000 births between 2004 and 2006. It found that the risk of pre-eclampsia was slightly lower for smokers, 1.2% compared to 1.5% for non-smokers. However, those smokers who did develop the condition were more prone to complications such as low birth weight, premature birth and stillbirth.

The stillbirth rate for smokers with pre-eclampsia was 9% while for non-smokers with the condition the rate was 5%.

Elizabeth Miller, who ran the study, has suggested that although cigarettes contain substances that stop blood vessels constricting, smoking lowers the amount of oxygen reaching the foetus. This causes complications like premature birth and low birth weight.

The guidelines still recommend being smoke-free during pregnancy and to try and quit before you conceive.

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pre-eclampsia, smoking in pregnancy, pregnant smokers, smoking mums-to-be, cigarettes, premature birth, low birth weight, stillbirth

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