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Indian Pediatr. 2013 Jan 8;50(1):134-8. Epub 2012 Apr 10.

Residential environmental tobacco smoke exposure during pregnancy and low birth weight of neonates: case control study in a public hospital in Lucknow, India.

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Department of Pediatrics, King Georges Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.



To determine whether residential environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure during pregnancy is associated with low birth weight (LBW) neonates and establish a dose response relationship.


Case control study.


Tertiary care hospital.


Mothers giving birth to LBW neonate (<2.5 kg) were cases and those whose neonates weighed =2.5 kg at birth were controls. Excluded were women smokers and tobacco chewers, high parity (>3), multiple pregnancy and still births. Included were 100 cases and 200 controls, aged 20 to 30 years. Information was collected on ETS exposure and other risk factors of LBW within 24 hours of delivery. Clinical information like maternal haemoglobin levels, birth weight and gestational age of the neonate was extracted from hospital records.


On univariate analysis, preterm pregnancy, low socioeconomic status, previous LBW neonate, no utilization of antenatal care (ANC), severe anemia and ETS exposure were statistically significantly associated with LBW neonate and controlling for these in logistic regression analysis, adjusted Odds ratio for ETS exposure association with LBW neonate was 3.16 (95% CI=1.88-5.28). A dose response relationship was also found which was statistically significant (10-20 cigarettes smoked/day: OR = 4.06, 95% CI=1.78-9.26 and >20 cigarettes smoked/day, OR = 17.62, 95% CI= 3.76-82.43).


Exposure to ETS during pregnancy is associated with LBW of neonates. Hence, there is an urgent need to increase awareness about health hazards of ETS during pregnancy and bring about behavioural changes accordingly as a one of the strategies to reduce LBW deliveries in India.

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