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Infants with low birth weight born before their mothers started to smoke cigarettes

  • J. Yerushalmy
    Correspondence
    Reprint requests: 3867 Howe St., Oakland, California 94611
    Affiliations
    Child Health and Development Studies, Division of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of California Berkeley, California, USA

    the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute Oakland, California, USA

    the Permanente Medical Group Oakland, California, USA
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      Abstract

      The study explores the question whether the increase in low-birth-weight infants to smoking gravidas is due to the smoking or the smoker. The method was that of investigating the reproductive performance of future smokers during the periods before they acquired the smoking habit. It was found that women who subsequently became smokers had a high incidence of low-birth-weight infants also during the period before they started to smoke. It was concluded that the findings raise doubt and argue against the proposition that cigarette smoking acts as an exogenous factor which interferes with the intrauterine development of the fetus. Rather, the evidence appears to support the hypothesis that the higher incidence of low-birth-weight infants is due to the smoker, not the smoking.
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