Older mothers who smoke increase babies’ chance of heart defects

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Babies born to women over 35 who smoke are at greater risk of having specific heart defects, reports [s]BBC News[/s]. A new study adds to existing evidence that smoking during pregnancy can damage babies’ hearts, as well as increase the risk of miscarriage, small babies and premature birth. Smoking during early pregnancy could account for 1%-2% of all heart defects in babies, the study said. Dr Patrick Sullivan, lead study author, at [b]Seattle Children’s Hospital[/b], said: ‘Our research provides strong support for the hypothesis that smoking while pregnant increases the risk of specific heart defects.’ Sullivan said it was not completely clear how smoking damages babies’ hearts during pregnancy but it is thought to be related to restricted oxygen flow to the heart.

Full BBC News report
Paediatric Academic Societies abstract

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