Smoking and drinking habits of women in subsequent pregnancies after specific advice about the dangers of these exposures during pregnancy.

S Afr Med J. 2020 Oct 28;110(11):1100-1104

Authors: Odendaal HJ, Brink LT, Nel DG, Carstens E, De Jager M, Potter M, Du Plessis C, Groenewald CA

BACKGROUND: Although women are informed about the dangers of drinking and smoking during pregnancy when they book for antenatal care, it is uncertain whether this advice is accepted, or whether attempts are made to apply it in subsequent pregnancies.
OBJECTIVES: To assess how pregnant women respond to the advice to refrain from smoking and drinking during pregnancy in subsequent pregnancies.
METHODS: Research staff were trained to obtain accurate prospective information on smoking and drinking during pregnancy in a prospective study, using well-standardised methods. Care was taken to inform participants about the dangers of smoking and drinking during pregnancy. They were also given pamphlets on these dangers in their own language and a list of telephone numbers where they could find help to quit should they need it. This information was repeated at subsequent study visits (ranging from 1 to 3, depending on the gestational age at which they enrolled). Gestational age was determined by early ultrasound. Z-scores of birthweight for gestational age were determined according to the INTERGROWTH-21st study. Pregnancy outcomes of women who enrolled twice (n=888) or three times (n=77) in the Safe Passage Study were compared with those of women in the first enrolment (n=889).
RESULTS: The proportion of drinkers did not change significantly (p=0.058) from the first to the second and third enrolments (63.8%, 59.0% and 54.6%, respectively). A similar trend was found for smokers (73.3%, 72.2% and 68.4%, respectively). Cannabis use was reported by 15.1%, 9.7% and 12.0% (p<0.005) of women, respectively, and use of methamphetamine by 10.1%, 6.6% and 12.7% (p<0.005). There was an increase in the rate of preterm births from 15.5% to 17.5% and 24.7%, respectively, but the increase was not significant. Although mean birthweight was lower in the third enrolment compared with the second, the difference was not significant. The z-score of birthweight for gestational age was significantly lower in the second enrolment compared with the first.
CONCLUSIONS: Detailed information on the adverse effects of smoking and drinking during pregnancy was not effective in the population studied. Other methods to reduce or stop these toxic exposures should therefore be investigated. A short inter-pregnancy interval, as demonstrated by three enrolments in 7.5 years, is associated with preterm labour and fetal growth restriction, and is probably indicative of the role played by confounders such as poor socioeconomic conditions and drug exposure during pregnancy.

PMID: 33403986 [PubMed – in process]

Source: ncbi 2

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