08 Mar '11, 3am

Pregnant women exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to have babies with birth defects: Study

Pregnant women exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to have babies with birth defects: Study

Women exposed to secondhand smoke were more likely to experience stillbirths or have babies with birth defects. -- ST PHOTO ILLUSTRATION NEW YORK - WOMEN exposed to second-hand smoke while pregnant are more likely to experience a stillbirth or have babies with birth defects, according to an analysis. Stillbirth was 23 per cent more common and birth defects were 13 per cent more common among women who lived or worked with smokers, according to a report published in Pediatrics. 'Women need to be protected from passive smoke exposure before conception and throughout pregnancy,' said Jo Leonardi-Bee, a professor at the University of Nottingham in England and one of the authors of the study, in an email to Reuters Health. Although the increased risks of stillbirth and birth defects are not massive, she warned: 'They are a lot larger in magnitude than one would anticipate if we ...

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