One cigarette, two hearts
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
If you’re pregnant, smoking can hurt two hearts.
Smoking increases the risk of lung cancer and heart disease in adults. And research suggests babies of moms who smoke have a higher risk of congenital heart defects, which are abnormalities in the structure of the heart found at birth.
The study in the journal Pediatrics found septal heart defects – a tiny hole inside the heart – were more common among infants whose mothers smoked around the time they conceived. And the more Mom smoked, the higher the risk.
Sadia Malik with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences suggests:
“Since half the pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned, by not smoking, you ensure the health of your unborn child.” (5 seconds)
The study was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.
Learn more at hhs.gov.
HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011