March 30, 2009:
Effects on babies of prenatal exposure to smoking
Study finds that smoking during pregnancy can damage the developing cochlea.
The many negative effects of cigarette smoking on adult health are well documented in numerous studies. However, not until recently have clinical studies linked neuro-developmental problems to prenatal exposure to smoking, more precisely in relation to the pregnant mother smoking.
Cigarette smokers are exposed directly to nicotine along with a number of other chemicals. A new study has now been carried out with newborns with a maternal history of smoking during the pregnancy. The study included 100 babies, both male and female, who were evaluated 24-48 hours after birth. These babies were all prenatally exposed to smoking. The 100 babies were compared to a control group of babies, who were not prenatally exposed to smoking.
The study found significant declines in the mean TEOAE response amplitude in babies, who had been exposed to high levels of smoking compared to the control group, indicating that cigarette smoking is detrimental to the developing cochlea. The study results were seen as clear evidence that the negative effects of cigarette exposure are apparent and assessable already at birth.
Source: Audiology Online