Home > Smoking during pregnancy and its effect on placental weight: a Mendelian randomization study.

Jaitner, Annika and Vaudel, Marc and Tsaneva-Atanasova, Krasimira and Njølstad, Pål R and Jacobsson, Bo and Bowden, Jack and Johansson, Stefan and Freathy, Rachel M (2024) Smoking during pregnancy and its effect on placental weight: a Mendelian randomization study. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 24, (1), 238. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-024-06431-0.

External website: https://bmcpregnancychildbirth.biomedcentral.com/a...

BACKGROUND The causal relationship between maternal smoking in pregnancy and reduced offspring birth weight is well established and is likely due to impaired placental function. However, observational studies have given conflicting results on the association between smoking and placental weight. We aimed to estimate the causal effect of newly pregnant mothers quitting smoking on their placental weight at the time of delivery.

METHODS We used one-sample Mendelian randomization, drawing data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) (N = 690 to 804) and the Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) (N = 4267 to 4606). The sample size depends on the smoking definition used for different analyses. The analysis was performed in pre-pregnancy smokers only, due to the specific role of the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs1051730 (CHRNA5 - CHRNA3 - CHRNB4) in affecting smoking cessation but not initiation.

RESULTS Fixed effect meta-analysis showed a 182 g [95%CI: 29,335] higher placental weight for pre-pregnancy smoking mothers who continued smoking at the beginning of pregnancy, compared with those who stopped smoking. Using the number of cigarettes smoked per day in the first trimester as the exposure, the causal effect on placental weight was 11 g [95%CI: 1,21] per cigarette per day. Similarly, smoking at the end of pregnancy was causally associated with higher placental weight. Using the residuals of birth weight regressed on placental weight as the outcome, we showed evidence of lower offspring birth weight relative to the placental weight, both for continuing smoking at the start of pregnancy as well as continuing smoking throughout pregnancy (change in z-score birth weight adjusted for z-score placental weight: -0.8 [95%CI: -1.6,-0.1]).

CONCLUSION Our results suggest that continued smoking during pregnancy causes higher placental weights.

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Tobacco / Nicotine
Intervention Type
Prevention, Harm reduction
Identification #
BioMed Central

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