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Children's Health Channel
Reported October 31, 2013

Maternal Smoking May Impair Infant Immunity

By Emily Farr, Ivanhoe Health Correspondent

(Ivanhoe Newswire) –Maternal smoking is linked with both non-respiratory and respiratory infections in infants, resulting in an increased risk for hospitalization and death, Abigail Halperin, MD, MPH, told Ivanhoe at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in Orlando.

Researchers analyzed hospitalization records and death certificates of 50,000 infants born in the state of Washington between 1987 and 2004.  The case-control study assessed infant hospitalizations and deaths due to non-respiratory and respiratory infectious diseases.

The infants of mothers who smoked were about 50 percent more likely to be admitted to a hospital or die from any of a wide variety of infectious diseases than babies of mothers who did not smoke.

“While respiratory infections have been recognized as a common cause of these sometimes life-threatening illnesses, this study shows that babies exposed to smoke in utero also have increased risk for hospitalization and death from a much broader range of infections—both non-respiratory and respiratory—than we knew before,” study co-author, Abigail Halperin, MD, MPH, told Ivanhoe.

For more information, go to: http://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/Maternal-Smoking-May-Impair-Infant-Immunity,-Causing-a-Broad-Range-of-Infections.aspx

SOURCE: American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, Fla. October 2013

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