Effects at age nine of maternal smoking in pregnancy: experimental and observational findings?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives Fo compare long term outcomes of a randomised controlled trial of anti-smoking education in pregnancy and to examine the same outcomes according to maternal pregnancy smoking behaviour. Design Follow up of the population included in the randomised controlled trial nine years later and of ex-smokers and non-smokers within the same hospital population. Setting A maternity hospital in Birmingham with follow up of children in schools and mothers at home. Population 1218 smokers recruited to the trial; also 191 ex-smokers at hooking and 414 non-smokers through out pregnancy. Methods Children were assessed individually by psychologists in schools, and mothers interviewed at home to obtain additional information relevant to cognitive development and growth. Information on smoking during pregnancy was obtained from mothers and obstetric data from computerised case-notes, both recorded immediately following delivery. Main outcome measures Height, weight, IQ and neurological soft signs at 9.4 years. Results Differences in birthweight and length between the intervention and control groups were confirmed but no intervention-control differences were found at age 9.4 fur weight? height, IC! or neurological soft signs. Differences were found for height and IQ according to mothers pregnancy smoking behaviour, but smoking diet not remain an independent predictor after taking account of confounding factors. Alternative classifications of smoking behaviour, taking account of the gestation at stopping and mean cigarette consumption throughout pregnancy likewise showed no effect. Conclusions The well established early hazards of smoking during pregnancy seem to be resolved by later childhood, with no evidence of direct long ter m effects on growth or cognitive functioning.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-73
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001