pregnant mother's diet and lifestyle wield a powerful influence
over the growth of the baby inside her. Many complications
and birth defects can result from poor maternal decisions
during pregnancy. A mother's smoking during pregnancy is suspected
to increase the odds of her child developing diabetes later
The authors of a recent study in the British Medical Journal
determined the number of cigarettes mothers had smoked
during pregnancy. Mothers of 15,000 people were classified
as nonsmokers; medium smokers (1-9 cigarettes per day); heavy
smokers (10 or more cigarettes per day); or smokers varying
between medium and heavy. The children were all assessed for
the presence of type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes 33 years later.
Heavy maternal smoking was linked to a nearly fivefold increase
in early-onset type 2 diabetes. In addition, women who smoked
heavily during pregnancy were far more likely to have children
who would later develop diabetes than women who smoked less.
Obesity and smoking by the children themselves also increased
the risk for type 2 diabetes.
Smoking during pregnancy can increase the risk for other
problems, such as low birth weight, miscarriage, and sudden
infant death syndrome. If you smoke, quit before deciding
to have children. And if you are already a pregnant smoker,
consider the risks you place on your unborn child and try
to quit immediately.
Montgomery SM, Ekbom A. Smoking during pregnancy and diabetes
mellitus in a British longitudinal birth cohort. British
Medical Journal 2002:324, pp. 26-27.
To learn about more of the dangers of smoking, go to http://www.chiroweb.com/find/archives/general/smoking/index.html.