Women who vaporize are more likely to have low-weight babies, according to the study

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According to a new study by a team of researchers from UCLA and other institutions, women who use e-cigarettes during pregnancy are 33% more likely than those who do not stop low-weight babies.

Low birth weight babies (those weighing less than 5.5 pounds) often require specialized medical attention and are at higher risk for complications in early and long life. , said Dr. Annette Regan, lead author of the study and assistant professor of epidemiology at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.

The findings of the study, which also involved researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are published in the July issue of the peer-reviewed journal. Obstetrics and gynecology.

The researchers analyzed data on approximately 80,000 mothers in the 2016–18 pregnancy risk assessment control system or PRAMS, a CDC-coordinated project that collects nationwide information on maternal experiences before, during, and shortly after pregnancy. ‘pregnancy.

Among this cohort, 1.1% reported using e-cigarettes during the last three months of pregnancy and nearly two-thirds of these users said they had also smoked regular cigarettes or “fuels” during this period. .

“Even though only a small percentage of people used e-cigarettes, we were surprised at how much they used both e-cigarettes and combustible cigarettes during pregnancy,” said Regan, who also teaches at the nursing school of the University of San Francisco. “We have found increased rates of low birth weight for e-cigarette users, and this has occurred even for those who did not smoke cigarettes.”

The team reported that among e-cigarette users, either exclusively or in combination with regular cigarettes, the low birth weight birth rate was 8.1%, compared to 6.1% of non-cigarettes. consumers, with an increased prevalence of 33%. However, they also found that among those who steamed exclusively, low birth weight births increased to 10.6% and the rate of premature births was 12.4%, compared to 7.6%. of non-users. These increases were not seen among dual e-cigarette users and regular cigarettes.

“These findings are important because being born early means a baby has less time in the mother’s womb to grow and gain weight,” Regan said. “Much of the baby’s weight is gained during the latter part of the pregnancy.”

Nicotine, present in both regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes, is considered a developmental toxicant by the CDC, which can have a detrimental effect on fetal development. Because researchers found that low birth weight was more common among women who used e-cigarettes more frequently than among occasional users, it is possible that the amount of nicotine exposure is related to these harmful effects. However, they said, more research is needed to confirm this.

“This study adds to the accumulated evidence that it is best to be free of nicotine during pregnancy and this use is no exception, “said Professor Gavin Pereira, a perinatal epidemiologist at the Curtin University School of Public Health in Australia. Pereira, who was a professor of perinatal, pediatric and environmental epidemiology at Yale University, did not participate in the study.

The use of e-cigarettes has been on the rise in the United States, and these products are sometimes marketed as a less harmful alternative to cigarettes and as a smoking cessation aid. Despite this, very few studies have addressed the possible association between vapors and adverse birth outcomes among pregnant mothers, the researchers said.

“The perception that e-cigarettes are less harmful than smoking combustible cigarettes may contribute to their appeal among pregnant women who have difficulty quitting,” Regan said. “These findings show that e-cigarettes should not be considered a safe alternative to regular cigarettes and that there are very real health risks from smoking when it comes to . “

The UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, founded in 1961, is dedicated to improving public health through innovative research, training future leaders and health professionals from diverse backgrounds, translating research into policies and practices, and service to our local communities and to the communities of the nation and the world. The school has 631 students from 26 countries dedicated to pursuing the vision of building healthy futures in the great city of Los Angeles, California, the nation and the world.


Use of electronic cigarettes plus tobacco cigarettes related to an increased risk of respiratory symptoms


More information:
Annette K. Regan et al, Adverse birth outcomes associated with prenatal e-cigarette use and prenatal pregnancy, Obstetrics and gynecology (2021). DOI: 10.1097 / AOG.0000000000004432

Provided by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

Citation: Women who steam are more likely to have low birth weight babies, study shows (2021, July 7), retrieved July 7, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-07 -women-vape-birthweight-babies.html

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