Smoking during pregnancy has been linked to many different problems in infants like learning difficulties, attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity and even obesity.
However, although the paediatric and obstetric disorders linked to tobacco during this stage are well defined, the effects on neonatal behaviour have not yet been studied in depth.
A new study headed by experts at the Behaviour Evaluation and Measurement Research Centre (CRAMC) of the Rovira i Virgili University and published in the 'Early Human Development' journal goes further and analyses the effects of passive smoking during pregnancy on the newborn.
The scientists evaluated the behaviour of 282 healthy newborns using the Neonatal Behavioural Evaluation Scale. This allows for interaction with the newborn in order to evaluate its behaviour and responses between 48 and 72 hours after birth.
From those mothers studied, 22% smoked during pregnancy and hardly 6% were exposed to passive smoking. Out of the smoking mothers, 12.4% had between 1 and 5 cigarettes a day; 6.7% had between 6 and 10 a day; and 2.8% had between 10 and 15 a day. None of them smoked more than 15 cigarettes a day.
"Newborns who have had intrauterine exposure to nicotine, whether in an active or passive way, show signs of being more affected in terms of their neurobehavioural development.
This could be an indicator of pathologies, independently of sociodemographic, obstetric and paediatric factors," as explained to SINC by Josefa Canals and Carmen Hernández, the lead authors of the study.
The results reveal that those born to smoking and passive smoking mothers score low in their ability to inhibit stimuli that could alter the central nervous system.
Furthermore, children of passive smoking mothers have poor motor development and those of smoking mothers have less ability to regulate behaviour and response in physiological, sensor, motor and attention terms.
"Health professionals should encourage future mothers and their families to eliminate or reduce tobacco consumption," states Canals, who outlines the importance of informing mothers on the effects of involuntary exposure to cigarette smoke in order to prevent direct damage to the foetus and infant development.Smoking during pregnancy
When a pregnant woman smokes, nicotine concentrations in the foetus reach more than 15% of that of the mother. In Spain, 43.5% of women between 25 and 44 years of age smoke but this percentage during pregnancy falls to approximately 26.6%.
"However, although women tend to reduce their normal tobacco consumption when falling pregnant, the key is to study the effects of exposure to small amounts of smoke on foetal development," conclude Canals and Hernández.
Carmen Hernández-Martínez, Victoria Arija Val, Joaquín Escribano Subías, Josefa Canals Sans. "A longitudinal study on the effects of maternal smoking and secondhand smoke exposure during pregnancy on neonatal neurobehavior". Early Human Development 88:403, junio de 2012.Contact:
SINC | EurekAlert!
New study points the way to therapy for rare cancer that targets the young
22.11.2017 | Rockefeller University
Penn study identifies new malaria parasites in wild bonobos
21.11.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
22.11.2017 | Business and Finance
22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy