Prenatal smoking and problematic offspring

The researchers included a New Zealand longitudinal cohort study of biological and adopted children, a UK IVF study of mothers genetically and not genetically related to their babies, and a US longitudinal study of children adopted at birth.

They showed the number of cigarettes per day when pregnant was correlated with increased conduct problem scores.

A meta-analysis showed that smoking during pregnancy was associated with conduct problems in the children of both genetically related and genetically unrelated mothers.

The authors said the study showed the association “was not confounded by maternal characteristics or... specifically parenting practices.”

JAMA Psychiatry 2013; online 24 July