LOS AN GE ELES. Evaporation during pregnancy is about 33% more likely for women to have a low birth weight baby than expectant mothers who do not smoke e-cigarettes, according to a UCLA study published on Wednesday, July 7.
Low birth weight infants weighing less than 5.5 pounds often require specialized medical care and are at greater risk for early life complications and long-term health problems, says Dr. Annette Reagan, UCLA Fielding School Epidemiology Assistant Public Health գլխավոր lead author of the study.
The study, which involved researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was published in the July issue of the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.
The researchers analyzed data on approximately 80,000 mothers from the 2016-18 Pregnancy Risk Assessment System or PRAMS, a CDC coordinated project that collects information on maternal experiences across the country before, during and immediately after pregnancy.
Of those in the group, 1.1% said they had used e-cigarettes in the last three months of their pregnancy, and nearly two-thirds of those who said they had smoked regular cigarettes during that time.
“Although only a small percentage of people used e-cigarettes, we were surprised at how many used both e-cigarettes and incandescent cigarettes during pregnancy,” said Reagan, who teaches at the University of San Francisco Nursing School. “We found high rates of low birth weight for e-cigarette users, and it happened even for those who did not smoke.”
The team reported that the rate of low birth weight among e-cigarette users, exclusively or in combination with regular cigarettes, was 8.1%, compared with 6.1% for non-smokers. However, they also found that low birth weight among jumpers alone jumped to 10.6%, and preterm birth rates jumped to 12.4%, compared with 7.6% for non-users. These increases were not observed among e-cigarettes or regular cigarette users.
“These findings are important because being born early means that the baby has less time to grow and gain weight in the womb,” Reagan said. “Most of the baby’s weight is gained in late pregnancy.”
Nicotine, found in both regular and e-cigarettes, is considered by the CDC to be a developmental toxin that can adversely affect fetal development. Because researchers have found that being underweight is more common in women who smoke e-cigarettes more often than they do, it is possible that the amount of nicotine exposure may be associated with these harmful effects. However, they said more research was needed to confirm this.
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