Largest Study of Its Kind Proves Just Half a Pack per Day Harms Unborn Child
Women have yet another reason to stop smoking while pregnant. In the largest study of its kind, plastic surgeons found smoking during pregnancy significantly elevates the risk of having a child with excess, webbed or missing fingers and toes, according to the January issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). In fact, the study found that smoking just half a pack per day increases the risk of having a child born with a toe or finger defect by 29 percent.
“Reconstructive surgery to repair limb, toe and finger abnormalities in children represents a large portion of my practice – it is the most common issue I treat,” said Benjamin Chang, MD, ASPS member and study author. “Parents would ask why this happened to their child, but I didn’t have an answer. This study shows that even minimal smoking during pregnancy can significantly increase the risk of having a child with various toe and finger defects.”
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