Although it was known that maternal smoking had negative effects on the weight of an infant at birth, previous findings on the association between smoking and fetal and infant mortality have not been reliable. This study proved its reliability by using the largest ever database on this topic which envisaged 360,000 births and 2,500 fetal deaths. The method used for the study was “Multiple logistic regressions” to compare the effects of maternal smoking. The information included age, uniformity, education, marital status and race for total mortality. When compared with non-smoking women during their first birth, women who were smoking less than one pack of cigarettes ran a risk of more than 25% of mortality and women who smoked more than one pack were at 56% risk of infant mortality.

During the second birth, women smokers ran a 30% greater mortality risk than women who did not smoke without any undue difference in the quantity smoked. This invariably proved that if all pregnant stopped smoking during pregnancy, it would be at least a 10% difference in the infant mortality rate.

The greater mortality rates of blacks as compared with whites were not the result of smoking but were because of other factors such as women who had two or more pregnancies and unmarried teenagers with very little education.

Infant mortality in maternal smoking

Research methods used for this study envisaged the linking of death certificate data that was taken from the Georgia State Division of Public Health from 1st January 1997 to 30th December 2000. The primary data was the smoking habits of women and the consequent outcomes.

The researchers investigated several different variables for determining which ones were important for outcome qualifiers or for making things worse. Data included such factors as maternal smoking, education level of the mother, race of the mother, and the mother’s weight gain or loss during pregnancy.

Smoking also affects infancy growth. Researchers examined the relationship between maternal smoking to the size of the infant at birth and childhood growth up to 5 years. Children born to mothers who smoked were smaller in size and weighed less than children of non-smoking mothers.

Another observation was that infants of smoking mothers were thinner and more susceptible to illnesses such as jaundice, whereas children of non-smoking were healthier and were usually immune from such ailments. This means that early postnatal growth is affected by smoking. Although the children were being fed in the same manner regarding quality and quantity, children of non-smoking mothers grew quicker than smoking mothers

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