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J Epidemiol. 2014;24(1):60-6. Epub 2013 Dec 14.

Effect of maternal smoking cessation before and during early pregnancy on fetal and childhood growth.

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Department of Health Sciences, Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Medicine and Engineering, University of Yamanashi.



Maternal smoking during pregnancy is a major cause of intrauterine growth restriction and childhood obesity, but only a few studies have examined the association of smoking cessation before and during pregnancy with fetal and childhood growth. We examined this association in a prospective cohort study in Japan.


Our study included children born between 1991 and 2006 and their mothers. Using a questionnaire, maternal smoking status was recorded at pregnancy. The anthropometric data of the children were collected during a medical check-up at age 3 years. Multiple linear and logistic regression models were used for data analysis stratified by sex.


In total, 2663 mothers reported their smoking status during early pregnancy, and data were collected from 2230 (83.7%) children at age 3 years. Maternal smoking during pregnancy was associated with a significant reduction in birth weight (approximately 120-150 g). Body mass index at age 3 years was significantly higher among boys born to smoking mothers than among boys born to nonsmoking mothers. Maternal smoking during pregnancy was associated with overweight at age 3 years among boys (adjusted odds ratio, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.03-5.4). However, among women who stopped smoking in early pregnancy, there was no increase in the risks of a small for gestational age birth or childhood overweight at age 3 years.


Children born to mothers who stopped smoking before or during early pregnancy had appropriate fetal and childhood growth.

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