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BJOG. 2008 May;115(6):780-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2008.01691.x. Epub 2008 Mar 19.

The relationship between cigarette smoking, endothelial function and intrauterine growth restriction in human pregnancy.

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Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, The University of Sydney, Nepean Hospital, Penrith, New South Wales, Australia.


This study examined the relationship of cigarette smoking and endothelial function in pregnant women by comparing smokers with nonsmokers. Endothelial function was assessed at 28-32 weeks of gestation by flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) using ultrasound of the brachial artery. The initial FMD was significantly different between the smoking group (n = 21) at 4.0 +/- 2.3, indicating endothelial dysfunction, and the nonsmoking group (n = 20) at 9.7 +/- 4.0 (P < 0.001). After smoking, this difference in the groups persisted. Babies who were growth restricted (<10th percentile) had mothers with a significantly lower FMD, that is endothelial dysfunction. This work demonstrates persistent endothelial dysfunction in smoking pregnant women.

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