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Am J Prev Med. 1998 Oct;15(3):212-9.

Costs of maternal conditions attributable to smoking during pregnancy.

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  • 1Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Despite known adverse health effects, many women continue to smoke during pregnancy. Public attention has now focused on the economic as well as health effects of this behavior.

OBJECTIVE:

To estimate health care costs associated with smoking-attributable cases of placenta previa, abruptio placenta, ectopic pregnancy, preterm premature rupture of the membrane (PPROM), pre-eclampsia, and spontaneous abortion.

DESIGN:

Pooled odds ratios were used with data on total cases to estimate smoking-attributable cases. Estimated average costs for cases of ectopic pregnancy and spontaneous abortion were used to estimate smoking-attributable health care costs for these conditions. Incremental costs, or costs above those for a "normal" delivery, were used to estimate smoking-attributable costs of placenta previa, abruptio placenta, PPROM, and pre-eclampsia associated with delivery.

SETTING:

National estimates for 1993.

PARTICIPANTS:

Data from the National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS) and claims data from a sample of large, self-insured employers across the country.

RESULTS:

Smoking-attributable costs ranged from $1.3 million for PPROM to $86 million for ectopic pregnancy. Smoking during pregnancy apparently protects against pre-eclampsia and saves between $36 and $49 million, depending on smoking prevalence. Over all conditions smoking-attributable costs ranged from $135 to $167 million.

CONCLUSIONS:

Smoking during pregnancy is a preventable cause of higher health care costs for the conditions studied. While smoking during pregnancy was found to be protective against pre-eclampsia and, hence, saves costs, the net costs were still positive and significant. Effective smoking-cessation programs can reduce health care costs but clinicians will perhaps need to manage increased cases of pre-eclampsia in a cost-effective manner.

PMID:
9791639
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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