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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2009 Jun;18(6):867-72. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2008.1024.

Consequences of smoking during pregnancy on maternal health.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.



To estimate the incidence of maternal cardiovascular and pulmonary events and the prevalence of other comorbid conditions among pregnant smokers.


We queried the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) for pregnancy-related discharge codes for the years 2000-2004. The prevalence of various conditions and the incidence of various complications were compared between smokers and nonsmokers.


The majority of smokers were young and white and had public insurance. Smokers were more likely to have experienced deep vein thrombosis (odds ratio [OR] 1.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1, 1.6), stroke (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.2, 2.5), pulmonary embolus (OR 2.5, 95% CI 2.1, 3.0), and myocardial infarction (OR 4.6, 95% CI 3.3, 6.4). They were 3 times more likely to have experienced influenza or pneumonia (OR 2.9, 95% CI 2.7, 3.2) and 15 times more likely to have bronchitis (OR 15.2, 95% CI 12.8, 18.2). They were more likely to suffer from a number of comorbidities, including asthma (OR 4.0, 95% CI 3.7, 4.2) and gastrointestinal ulcers (OR 3.7, 95% CI 2.6, 5.5). Although they were less likely to have experienced gestational diabetes (OR 0.9, 95% CI 0.9, 1.0), preeclampsia (OR 0.8, 95% CI 0.8, 0.9), or eclampsia (OR 0.7, 95% CI 0.6, 0.9), they were more than 5 times as likely to have experienced an ectopic pregnancy (OR 5.4, 95% CI 4.6, 6.3).


Smoking has a negative impact on maternal health. Counseling about the risks of smoking in pregnancy should include not only fetal risks but maternal risks as well.

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