Smoking During Pregnancy Linked to Cleft Lip in Newborns

Risk greatest if woman lit up during first trimester

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THURSDAY, July 29, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Women who smoke during pregnancy increase the risk that their babies will be born with cleft lip, new British research contends.

The study, conducted from 1997 to 2000, found a small increased risk of cleft lip -- with or without a cleft palate -- among babies born to mothers who smoked during the first trimester of pregnancy. The findings add to those of previous studies in North America and northern Europe.

In this new study, researchers interviewed women in Scotland and England about six months after childbirth. The mothers provided information about their smoking history before and during pregnancy and the kind (filtered/nonfiltered) of cigarettes they smoked.

The researchers also collected information about secondhand-smoke exposure, but they weren't able to reach any definite conclusions about secondhand smoke and cleft lip in newborns.

The study appears in the July issue of the Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal.

More information

The Nemours Foundation has more about cleft lip and palate.

SOURCE: Alliance Communications Group, news release, July 22, 2004

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