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Placenta. 1999 May;20(4):273-9.

Cigarette smoking and pregnancy II: vascular effects.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Columbia University College Medical Center, USA.


The act of smoking introduces a complex set of chemicals that have a broad range of effects, both complementary and antagonistic, at various levels within the vascular tree. A general review of these systemic effects is followed by a summary of documented effects of smoking on the uterine vasculature and of relationships of smoking to pregnancy outcomes known to be associated with vascular pathology. Last, we offer a potential resolution for the apparent paradox of the seemingly 'protective' effect of smoking to reduce the incidence of pre-eclampsia, one of the most serious vascular complications of pregnancy.

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