Foetal Exposure to Tobacco Smoke may Result in Diabetes

by Jenny Novac on February 11, 2015

Pregnant Woman

A new study found that kids exposed to secondhand smoke from their parents while being in mother’s belly have more chances to develop diabetes in their adulthood. It was published in the Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease.

The study was made at the University of California, by Davis and the Berkeley nonprofit Public Health Institute. It revealed that adult daughters of women who smoked during their pregnancy were from 2 to 3 times more likely to have diabetes.

Moreover, researchers told that fathers who used cigarettes while their daughters were in female bellies also contributed to diabetes development. However, it is not known at what extent is this risk.

The author of the study is Michele La Merrill, an assistant professor of environmental toxicology at UC Davis. She says that it is clear that gestational environmental exposures to tobacco chemicals can contribute to the development of the disease.

The reseachers examined data from 1,800 daughters of mothers who took part in the Child Health and Development Studies in 1959 – 1967. These were women who received obstetric care in the course of Kaiser Permanente Foundation Health Plan in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Initially, data was gathered to examine early risk of breast cancer development, therefore the researchers were interested only in girls.

Previous studies connected tobacco use to high rates of obesity and low birth weight. However, this study discovered that birth weight was not connected to development of diabetes.

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