Smoking During Pregnancy May Make Daughter Dependent on Nicotine

smoking woman

Researchers say that women’s smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of her daughter becoming hooked on nicotine in adult age.

In the journal Biological Psychiatry recently there were published results of a study that found that females who smoke during their pregnancy are at higher risks of their daughters becoming addicted to smoking later in life.

The researchers used data from a long-term and large project that started in 1959. The author of the research Dr. Laura Stroud told there were used the records of hormone levels and smoking status of 1,086 females. Then researchers examoned their kids (437 boys and 649 girls) and found that girl’s exposure to high prenatal cortisol and maternal smoking resulted in increased nicotine rates in adult age. However, there was found no connection between boy’s exposure to high prenatal testosterone and smoking in adult age.

These findings show  the particular vulnerability of girls to long-term negative effects of maternal stress and mother’s smoking during pregnancy. However, researchers cannot say exactly what are the causes for that, but they suggest that possibly the main causes are sex differences in stress hormone regulation in the placenta and adaptation to prenatal environmental exposures.

Besides this, nicotine and cortisol may affect differently developing brains of boys and girls. If girls of smoking women are more likely to become dependent to  nicotine, then it becomes a dangerous cycle of intergenerational transmission of nicotine addiction.

It is a well-known fact that smoking during pregnancy has negative effects on the health of an unborn child, which may result in premature birth, cleft lip, low birth weight, and even sudden infant death syndrome.

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