Even Single Cigarette Each Day During Pregnancy Can Double SUID Risk

Modesto Morganelli
Marzo 14, 2019

The researchers at AI For Good Research Lab at Microsoft used Microsoft Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to analyse the mothers' cigarette smoking habits for all of the births included in the study.

They found babies whose mothers smoked while pregnant had more than twice the risk of dying suddenly and unexpectedly.

To understand how SUID deaths relate to maternal cigarette use, researchers analyzed data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on smoking habits in pregnant women who had given birth between 2007 and 2011.

Not only that, but researchers say if the woman smokes a pack a day while pregnant, the baby's risk of unexpected sudden death almost triples compared to infants of non-smokers.

More than 3,700 US infants up to 12 months old die each year of sleep-related causes like sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed or other unknown causes, researchers report in Pediatrics.

To better understand how smoking contributed to SUID risk, the researchers used computational modelling techniques to analyse maternal cigarette smoking habits for all US live births from 2007 to 2011.

After the first cigarette per day, the study found the risk of SUID increased by 0.07 for each additional cigarette smoked up to 20 per day, at which point it plateaued-and at which point it's triple the risk of women who don't smoke, the Seattle Times reports.

Their analysis also showed that mothers who smoked three months before pregnancy and quit in the first trimester still incurred a higher risk of SUID compared to non-smokers.

Quitting smoking before pregnancy reduced the risk of SUID by over 20 percent, while scaling down the cigarette habit during pregnancy reduced the risk by over 10 percent.

Researchers also estimated that 800 deaths of the 3,700 total SUIDs every year in the US could be prevented if women abstained from smoking during pregnancy.

Anderson says the data from this study supports public health efforts aimed at encouraging women to quit smoking well before pregnancy.

"But there are many studies that have associated postnatal smoke exposure with an increased risk of SIDS", Goodstein, who wasn't involved in the study, said by email.

The researchers did find ways for women to reduce their risk of SUID.

To prevent SUID, doctors advise parents to put babies to sleep on their backs without blankets or other soft bedding and toys that could pose a suffocation risk.

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