Could Secondhand Smoke Increase the Risk of Miscarriage? Study

First Posted: Feb 28, 2014 07:08 PM EST

A recent study shows that aside from the general warning of exposure to secondhand smoke, secondhand smoke exposure to pregnant women can increase their risk of having miscarriages and stillbirths.

Lead study author Andrew Hyland from the Roswell park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., examined data on over 80,000 postmenopausal women who had been pregnant at least once. All of the participants were involved with the Women's Health Initiative study. The sample contained 6.3 percent current smokers, 43 percent of the participants used to be smokers and 51 percent never smoked. The study authors looked at the nonsmokers participants' exposures to secondhand smoke when they were children and adults in both their home and work settings.

Results showed that roughly 33 percent of the woman had suffered at least one miscarriage, 4.4 percent had dealt with a stillbirth and approximately 2.5 percent had experienced a tubal ectopic pregnancy.

When comparing the results of smokers to nonsmokers, they found that women who smoked during their reproductive years had a 16 percent higher chance of experiencing a miscarriage.

The study results also showed that women exposed to higher levels of secondhand smoke were more likely to have miscarriages, stillbirths and ectopic pregnancies.

More information regarding the study can be found via the journal Tobacco Control

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