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Ann Epidemiol. 1998 Nov;8(8):520-6.

Paternal and maternal smoking habits before conception and during the first trimester: relation to spontaneous abortion.

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  • 1Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milano, Italy.



This study examined the association between maternal smoking before and during the first trimester of pregnancy and spontaneous abortion.


We have been conducting a hospital-based case-control study on risk factors for spontaneous abortion in the greater Milan area. We collected information from 782 cases of spontaneous abortions and 1543 controls (women who delivered at term healthy infants).


With respect to never smokers, the odds ratio (OR) were 0.7 (95%, confidence interval (CI), 0.5-1.0) for women who quit smoking and 1.3 (95% CI, 1.0-1.6) for those who continued during pregnancy. Women who smoked more than 10 cigarettes/day in the first trimester were at increased risk of miscarriage, with an OR of 1.4 (95% CI, 1.0-2.1). No relationship was evident between the number of cigarettes smoked before conception and the risk of abortion. Likewise, no association emerged between paternal smoking and miscarriage. Moreover, no significant interaction or modification effect was obtained when strata of age and other major characteristics were investigated.


The risk of abortion associated with cigarette smoking during the first trimester of pregnancy was measurable and noticeable in this population, and accounted for 9% (95% CI, 6-13%) of all cases. The increased risk of spontaneous abortion in women smoking during pregnancy is a further reason to encourage pregnant women to quit.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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