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Am J Epidemiol. 2009 Jan 1;169(1):33-40. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwn293. Epub 2008 Nov 10.

Maternal smoking, preeclampsia, and infant health outcomes in New York City, 1995-2003.

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Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA.


A number of previous studies have reported an inverse association between maternal smoking and preeclampsia. Additionally, some have suggested that smokers who develop preeclampsia have worse maternal and fetal outcomes than nonsmokers who develop preeclampsia. The authors examined the relation of smoking to preeclampsia among 674,250 singleton pregnancies in New York City between 1995 and 2003. Although smoking was associated with a reduced risk of preeclampsia overall (adjusted odds ratio = 0.88, 95% confidence interval: 0.82, 0.94), no association was found for preeclampsia superimposed on chronic hypertension (adjusted odds ratio = 1.04, 95% confidence interval: 0.90, 1.21). Furthermore, the apparent protection conferred by maternal smoking was restricted to women aged < or =30 years. Contrary to previous reports, the authors found evidence of a negative interaction between smoking and preeclampsia with respect to preterm delivery and birth weight; smokers who developed preeclampsia had a lower risk of preterm delivery, and a lower adjusted mean difference in birth weight, than would have been expected based on the independent effects of smoking and preeclampsia. These data suggest that smoking is only protective against preeclampsia without pre gestational hypertension, and even then principally among younger women. Additionally, smokers who develop these disorders have no increased risk of adverse birth outcomes relative to nonsmokers who develop the same conditions.

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