Smoking is never good, but smoking while pregnant can hurt the baby’s heart. “Mothers-to-be who are both overweight and smoke during their pregnancy risk damaging their baby’s developing heart, finds research published online inHeart.
Congenital heart abnormalities are some of the most common defects found at birth, with around eight in every 1000 babies affected. A likely cause is only found in 15% of cases.
The authors base their findings on an analysis of almost 800 babies and foetuses who were born with congenital heart abnormalities, but no other defects, between 1997 and 2008.
These babies were compared with 322 children and foetuses who were born with chromosomal abnormalities, but without any heart defects.
The analysis pointed to an enhanced damaging effect for a combination of overweight and smoking as opposed to one of these factors alone, after taking account of influential factors, such as the mother’s alcohol consumption and educational attainment.
Mums to be who both smoked and were overweight, with a BMI of 25 or more, were more than 2.5 times as likely to have a child with a congenital heart defect as women who either smoked or were overweight, but not both.”
Full article here