19 February 2019

Exposure to smoking before and after birth increases the risk of hearing loss in toddlers

If you smoke during your pregnancy or after birth near your child, it increases the risk of hearing loss in your child, a Japanese study states. The risk may increase up to 240%.

Exposure to tobacco smoke before and after birth is associated with hearing loss in children, a Japanese study has found.

Up to 240% increased risk

The study compared children who were not exposed to tobacco smoke during pregnancy and after birth with children who were either exposed to only a mother who was a former smoker during pregnancy, children who were exposed to only second-hand smoke at four months, children exposed only to smoking during pregnancy and children who were exposed to smoking during pregnancy and second-hand smoke at four months.

According to the study, children exposed to a mother who was a former smoker during pregnancy had a 26% increased relative risk of hearing loss and children exposed to only second-hand smoke at four months had a 30% increased relative risk of developing a hearing loss. Children who were only exposed to smoking during pregnancy had a 68% increased relative risk of hearing loss. The children exposed to smoking during pregnancy and second-hand smoke at four months had as high as a 240% increased relative risk of hearing loss.

“This study clearly shows that preventing exposure to tobacco smoke during pregnancy and postnatally may reduce the risk of hearing problems in children. The findings remind us of the need to continue strengthening interventions to prevent smoking before and during pregnancy and exposure to second-hand smoke in children,” said senior author dr. Koji Kawakami from Kyoto University, Japan.

Prevention of smoking before and during pregnancy and exposure to second-hand smoke after birth may reduce hearing loss in children, the study states.

About the study

The study consisted of 50,734 children aged 3 years who were born between 2004 and 2010. The study “Exposure to smoking before and after birth linked to hearing impairment in toddlers” was published on Wiley Online Library Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology June 2018

Source: www.onlinelibrary.wiley.com and www.medicalxpress.com

 

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