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Indian J Public Health. 2017 Sep;61(Supplement):S63-S65. doi: 10.4103/ijph.IJPH_266_17.

Assessment of urinary cotinine levels in women with gynecological complaints at a tertiary care hospital: A pilot study.

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Senior Specialist, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, New Delhi, India.
Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, University College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
Regional Advisor, Tobacco-Free Initiative, Regional Office for South-East Asia, World Health Organization, New Delhi, India.
PhD student Biochemistry, Department of Biochemistry, Delhi University, New Delhi, India.
Professor, Department of Biochemistry, University College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.


Gynecological effects due to smokeless tobacco exposure are not well studied. This cross-sectional study was undertaken with the objective to evaluate the urinary cotinine levels in women of reproductive age with gynecological complaints. The study was conducted in 2015 at the outpatient clinic of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University College of Medical Sciences and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Delhi. A total of 192 consecutive women presenting with gynecological complaints (pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infertility, and menstrual abnormality) were recruited. Their demographic details and tobacco exposure were recorded. All of them denied exposure to any form of tobacco. Urinary cotinine level of each participant was measured. The mean urinary cotinine level was 23.60 ± 12.00 ng/ml. PID was the most common gynecological complaint. Women with PID had significantly higher urinary cotinine levels compared to those with menstrual complaints and infertility: 24.9548 (±12.259) ng/ml versus 20.2042 (±10.9248) ng/ml. This study highlights the importance of addressing the issue of secondhand smoke exposure and reproductive morbidities in women.

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