Thursday, August 21, 2014

Pregnant smoking could affect grandchildren

That cigarette could affect grandchildren you don’t even have yet.

The effects of smoking during one's pregnancy can span generations, according to new research published in the American Journal of Human Biology.

The study, carried out in the U.K., found that smoking during pregnancy has effects on the growth of a woman's future grandchildren.

In nonsmoking mothers who had a paternal grandmother who smoked, granddaughters tended to be taller. Grandsons and granddaughters also were more likely to have greater bone mass and lean muscle mass.

If a maternal grandmother smoked while pregnant, though, her grandsons were heavier during adolescence but had better cardiovascular fitness.

When both moms and maternal grandmothers smoked, girls had reduced height and weight compared with girls whose mothers, but not grandmothers, smoked.

"These likely transgenerational effects from the grandmothers' smoking in pregnancy need to be taken into account in future studies of the effects of maternal smoking on child growth and development. If replicated, such studies could be a useful model for the molecular analysis of human transgenerational responses," senior author Prof. Marcus Pembrey said.

This story is based off of a longer abstract found in the American Journal of Human Biology that can be found here

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