New study links secondhand smoke exposure and pregnancy complications

(WXYZ) - A new study finds secondhand smoke exposure can have a detrimental effect on a woman's pregnancy much later in life.

Researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RCPI) and the University at Buffalo studied more than 80,000 women.

They divided women into groups based on their current and former smoking status and their level of secondhand smoke exposure.

Researchers found women who were non-smokers themselves, but had been around smokers for 10 years, either in adulthood or childhood, were at an increased risk of pregnancy complications. Women in this group were 61 percent more likely to have an ectopic pregnancy, 55 percent more likely to have a stillbirth and 17 percent more likely to have a miscarriage compared to women who had low or no exposure to secondhand smoke.


“This study offers new information for women regarding the lifetime impact secondhand smoke can have on reproductive outcomes and their ability to successfully bring a pregnancy to full term," said Dr. Andrew Hyland, Ph.D., Chair of RPCI's Department of Health Behavior.

Researchers say women who were around secondhand smoke for at least 10 years experienced the same dangerous side effects as women who had smoked during their pregnancy.

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