Clear The Air News Tobacco Blog Rotating Header Image

Boys’ fitness affected by smoking mothers – new research shows

Mothers who smoke during pregnancy risk making their sons unfit in later life, according to new research.

In the first study of its kind researchers discovered that the sons of women who smoked had worse aerobic fitness by the age of 19 than those whose mums didn’t smoke.

Lead author Dr Maria Hagnäs, of the University of Oulu, Finland, said: “It’s well established that smoking and breathing in second-hand smoke are harmful for both mother and baby.

“Our study adds to the existing evidence base of the negative and long-standing impacts of maternal smoking.

“Women must receive advice and support to help them stop smoking during pregnancy, as well guidance on how to maintain a healthy weight to minimise the risks to their unborn child.”

The research, published in the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, analysed the fitness of 508 men with an average age of 19, as they began their military service.

Of those 59 had mothers who smoked more than one cigarette a day throughout their pregnancy.

Results found that maternal smoking was associated with lower aerobic fitness of their children, which was measured by ability on a running test.

Aerobic activity was also independently associated with their own smoking status, weight and physical activity.

Dr Geeta Kumar, Chair of the Royal College of Obestetricians and Gynaecologists’s Patient Information Committee, said: “Stopping smoking is one of the most important things a pregnant woman can do to improve their baby’s health, growth and development, and this study demonstrates the negative effect smoking in pregnancy can have on a child’s long-term health too.

“It is important that women understand the risks of smoking in pregnancy and are aware of the support that is available to help them stop.

“Women who are unable to quit smoking should be encouraged to abstain during their pregnancy, use nicotine replacement therapy, or to reduce smoking as much as they can.

“We encourage all healthcare professionals working with pregnant women to access the RCOG’s new patient information leaflet which contains practical and evidence-based advice and guidance to share with women about smoking during pregnancy.”

The links between smoking during pregnancy and ill health have long been established.

Mothers who smoke are at a higher risk of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, intrauterine growth restriction, premature birth and stillbirth.

Their babies are also more likely to suffer from birth defects, and neurological, psychological or behavioural difficulties.

As well as being smaller babies are also at greater risk of asthma, chest and ear infections and pneumonia as well as being more susceptible to infant death syndrome.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>