ibnlive » Health

Aug 03, 2007 at 11:36pm IST

Smoking during pregnancy can raise baby's BP

New Delhi: Here is one more reason why you should quit smoking. If you are pregnant and you smoke, it could raise your newborn baby's blood pressure.

The study that appeared in the online edition of the journal Hypertension was conducted on 456 healthy full term babies over a period of two months.

Most of the babies' mothers — approximately 80 per cent — reported not smoking during pregnancy and not being exposed to tobacco smoke while pregnant.

Another 14 per cent of the moms said they hadn't smoked while pregnant but had been exposed to secondhand smoke while pregnant.

The remaining 6 per cent reported smoking while pregnant.

Babies born to mothers who smoked during pregnancy had an average systolic blood pressure (the first number in a blood pressure reading) that was 5.4 points higher than that of babies whose mothers hadn't smoked or been exposed to secondhand smoke during pregnancy.

Those findings weren't affected by the babies' birth weight, the mother's age, or whether the babies were breastfed, note the researchers.

Though the findings need further research, what is known is that smoking can have a substantial impact on systolic blood pressure in early infancy.

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