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Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2012 Mar;124(5-6):129-45. doi: 10.1007/s00508-011-0106-9. Epub 2011 Dec 22.

[The Fetal Tobacco Syndrome - A statement of the Austrian Societies for General- and Family Medicine (ÖGAM), Gynecology and Obstetrics (ÖGGG), Hygiene, Microbiology and Preventive Medicine (ÖGHMP), Pediatrics and Adolescence Medicine (ÖGKJ) as well as Pneumology (ÖGP)].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Univ. Klinik für Kinder- und Jugendheilkunde, Abt. für pädiatrische Pulmologie, Allergologie und Endokrinologie, Medizinische Universität Wien, Wien, Austria.


Over more than 50 years, the nocuous effects of smoking in pregnancy on the fetus are well known. In the first years of science the focus was primarily on restricted fetal growth while in more recent years over 10.000 studies investigated the incomparably big sum of detrimental effects for the unborn's health. In this statement we want to present the recent scientific findings on this topic. The statement is aimed to show all doctors who treat pregnant women the present situation and evidence. In the beginning we give a short overview about the epidemiological situation in Europe. Then we present step by step the health effects with regards to pathophysiology and clinics. Furthermore the reader will learn about possibilities for smoking cessation in pregnancy. The problem of passive-smoking in pregnancy will be dealt with in a separate chapter. At present there is strong evidence that pregnant smoking has a detrimental effect on birth-weight, placenta-associated disease, stillbirth, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), childhood overweight, clefts, lung function, asthma, cardiovascular diseases and mental developmental disorders. These factors can be summarized by the term Fetal Tobacco Syndrome. There is supply for more studies for less investigated health effects. Pregnancy is a chance to stop smoking as most women show a high motivation in this period. Hence doctors of all disciplines should inform pregnant women about the detrimental effects of smoking on their unborn child and show them possibilities for smoking cessation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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