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One in 10 pregnant women smokes in São Paulo

One in 10 pregnant women smokes in São Paulo

A study carried out by the São Paulo State Department of Health revealed that one in 10 pregnant women smokes, even knowing the risks that the habit offers to the baby.

The research counted on the participation of 5,000 women who gave birth at the state maternity hospital Interlagos, in São Paulo. All were interviewed to find out which smokers were and which were not.

The results showed that 10% of all pregnant women were smokers. Among the risks of smoking during pregnancy are: low birth weight, preterm birth, low central nervous system development, and low birth weight.

Women who smoke in pregnancy are at increased risk of having a hyperactive child with attention problems at school, according to a study by the University of York in the United Kingdom . Evaluating more than 13,000 three-year-olds, the researchers found that even though most boys (61.6%) and girls (71.7%) did not have health problems related to maternal smoking, the risks of problems of attention and behavior increased considerably when mothers smoked in gestation.

Published in the

Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health

, the survey indicated that 10% of women reported that they smoked excessively (more than ten cigarettes per day ) during gestation, while 12.5% ​​were mild smokers and 12.4% were trying to stop. And the results showed that for behavioral and child-care problems, "the most important factor seems to be smoking throughout pregnancy, rather than the amount of cigarettes."

The analyzes also showed that the effects of this habit had different impacts between boys and girls, because when exposed to the toxic substances of the cigarette still in the womb, although both were more likely to present behavior problems in the future, only the boys had a higher risk of having attention deficit. In addition, daughters of women who had stopped smoking during pregnancy had a lower risk of conduct problems than those whose mother never smoked - which led the experts to conclude that the mother's quit smoking could be a feature of "easy temperament and restraint" inherited by her daughter.


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