Effect of maternal smoking on fetal catecholamine concentrations at birth.
The aim of this study was to compare catecholamine concentrations in the fetal umbilical artery cord blood from the offspring of smokers versus the offspring of nonsmokers. Pregnant women who were self-identified as smokers (>/=10 cigarettes per day throughout pregnancy) or nonsmokers were recruited for study participation. Maternal blood was collected for cotinine concentrations. Umbilical artery cord blood was collected at delivery for arterial pH and catecholamine concentrations. Cord blood was obtained from 51 subjects, including 21 smokers and 30 nonsmokers. Median epinephrine concentrations [304 pg/mL versus 597 pg/mL (Mann-Whitney U = 170; p = 0.006)] and median norepinephrine concentrations [3148 pg/mL versus 6558 pg/mL (Mann-Whitney U = 191; p = 0.006)] were significantly lower in smokers compared with nonsmokers, respectively. After controlling for gestational age, route of delivery, and arterial pH, log-transformed epinephrine concentrations between smokers and nonsmokers were statistically significant (p = 0.03), with a similar trend for log-transformed norepinephrine concentrations (p = 0.07). Analyses of the data using cotinine <20 ng/mL to classify nonsmokers also showed differences in epinephrine concentrations between groups (p = 0.02). These results are consistent with results from animal studies showing that catecholamine concentrations may be affected by prenatal nicotine exposure. Further studies are needed to validate these findings and to examine the specific mechanism by which these differences may arise.
Oncken, CA; Henry, KM; Campbell, WA; Kuhn, CM; Slotkin, TA; Kranzler, HR
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