Monday, August 23, 2010

Smoking While Pregnant May Raise Psychiatric Risks in Kids

(HealthDay News) -- A woman who smokes while pregnant increases her baby's risk of developing psychiatric problems in childhood and young adulthood, a new Finnish study suggests.

While there's plenty of evidence that smoking during pregnancy puts unborn children at risk for long-term health problems such as asthma, ear infections and respiratory disease, this research is among the first to find a connection between prenatal smoking and an increased risk for mental illnesses, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and depression, in the mother's offspring.

Researchers at Turku University Hospital in Finland analyzed the birth records of more than 175,000 Finnish children born in the late 1980s, as well as their use of psychotropic medications as children and young adults.

Children exposed to prenatal smoking were 32 percent more likely overall to have taken a psychiatric drug than children whose mothers didn't smoke during pregnancy, the researchers found. The risk was even higher in the offspring of women who smoked more than a pack a day while pregnant. Their kids were 44 percent more likely to use psychiatric drugs than children whose moms didn't smoke. Read more...

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