Cigarette Smoking Associated With Congenital Heart Defects

Modest risk seen in infants whose mothers smoked in the first trimester of pregnancy

MONDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Women who smoke cigarettes during the first trimester of pregnancy may increase their offspring's risk for congenital heart defects (CHDs), according to research published online Feb. 28 in Pediatrics.

Clinton J. Alverson, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed 2,525 case and 3,435 control infants from a study of CHDs to investigate associations between cigarette smoking during the first trimester of pregnancy and the risk of infant CHDs.

The researchers found a significant positive association between first-trimester cigarette smoking and risk for secundum-type atrial septal defects, right ventricular outflow tract defects, pulmonary valve stenosis, truncus arteriosus, and levo-transposition of the great arteries (odds ratios, 1.36, 1.32, 1.35, 1.90, and 1.79, respectively). In addition, they observed a suggestive association for atrioventricular septal defects in infants without Down syndrome (odds ratio, 1.50).

"These findings add to the existing body of evidence that implicates first-trimester maternal cigarette smoking as a modest risk factor for select CHD phenotypes," the authors write.

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