In utero exposure to maternal smoking and women's risk of fetal loss in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort (MoBa).


Journal Article

Whether in utero exposure to tobacco smoke increases a woman's risk of fetal loss later in life is unknown, though data on childhood exposure suggest an association may exist. This study evaluated the association between in utero exposure to tobacco smoke and fetal loss in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa), which enrolled ∼40% of the pregnant women in Norway from 1999 to 2008.Information on exposure to tobacco smoke in utero, the woman's own smoking behavior during pregnancy and other factors was obtained by a questionnaire completed at ∼17 weeks of gestation. Subsequent late miscarriage (fetal death <20 weeks) and stillbirth (fetal death ≥ 20 weeks) were ascertained from the Norwegian Medical Birth Registry. This analysis included 76 357 pregnancies (MoBa data set version 4.301) delivered by the end of 2008; 59 late miscarriages and 270 stillbirths occurred. Cox proportional hazards models were fit for each outcome and for all fetal deaths combined.The adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of late miscarriage was 1.23 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.72-2.12] in women with exposure to maternal tobacco smoke in utero when compared with non-exposed women. The corresponding adjusted HR for stillbirths was 1.11 (95% CI, 0.85-1.44) and for all fetal deaths combined, it was 1.12 (95% CI, 0.89-1.43).The relatively wide CI around the HR for miscarriage reflected the limited power to detect an association, due to enrollment around 17 weeks of gestation. However, for in utero exposure to tobacco smoke and risk of stillbirth later in life, where the study power was adequate, our data provided little support for an association.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Cupul-Uicab, LA; Baird, DD; Skjaerven, R; Saha-Chaudhuri, P; Haug, K; Longnecker, MP

Published Date

  • February 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 26 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 458 - 465

PubMed ID

  • 21147823

Pubmed Central ID

  • 21147823

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1460-2350

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0268-1161

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/humrep/deq334


  • eng