Secondhand smoke risks for pregnancy outcomes

FATHERS as well as mothers who smoke ought to be targeted for smoking cessation advice, researchers say, after a meta-analysis found secondhand smoke posed significant risks to pregnancy outcomes.

UK researchers pooled 19 studies detailing the effects of secondhand smoke on pregnancy outcome. They found exposure to secondhand smoke significantly increased the risk of stillbirth by 23% and congenital malformation by 13%. 

No significant risk of spontaneous abortion, specific congenital malformations, perinatal or neonatal death were found.

The effects of secondhand smoke on adverse fetal outcomes were likely due to side-stream smoke, they concluded.

Pediatrics 2011, online 4 March