Can the baby die from smoking?

Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome: Smoking while pregnant doubles the risk

22.04.2019

Initial findings from joint research by the Seattle Children's Research Institute and Microsoft Data Scientists provide new information on the extent to which smoking before and during pregnancy contributes to Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) in a child before their first birthday.

According to the study published in the journal Pediatrics, any type of smoking during pregnancy - even one cigarette a day - doubles the risk of the child dying from sudden, unexpected infant death. For women who smoked an average of 1-20 cigarettes per day, the SUID rate increased by 0.07 with each additional cigarette smoked.

"With this information, doctors can better advise pregnant women on 'smoking' because they now know that the number of cigarettes smoked each day during pregnancy has a significant impact on the risk of SUID," said Dr. Tatiana Anderson, researcher at Seattle Children's Center and lead author of the study. "Similar to public health campaigns that educated parents about the importance of infant sleeping position, resulting in a 50% reduction in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) rates, we hope that as a result of advising women on this matter at this risk fewer babies die in this tragic meadow. "If no woman in the United States smoked while pregnant, current SUID rates there could be reduced by 22%, the researchers said.

Detailed insights into the effects of smoking on SUID risk

To better understand how smoking contributes to the risk of SUID, the researchers used computational modeling to analyze mothers' smoking habits for all US live births from 2007 to 2011.

Of the roughly 20 million live births included in their analysis, there were more than 19,000 deaths that could be attributed to SUID, including SIDS, an inexplicable death or death from accidental asphyxiation and strangulation in bed.

In addition to cigarette consumption, the researchers also looked at how smoking before pregnancy and reducing or quitting smoking during pregnancy had affected the risk of SUID.
Compared to half of pregnant smokers who did not reduce smoking during pregnancy, women who reduced cigarette consumption in the third trimester had a 12% lower risk of SUID for their children. Successful smoking cessation was associated with a 23% reduction in risk.

Their analysis also showed that mothers who smoked three months before pregnancy and quit in the first trimester were still at higher risk of SUID compared to non-smokers.

It is best to quit smoking before pregnancy

Dr. Anderson stated that the data from this study showed that women are best advised to quit smoking long before they become pregnant.

Dr. Anderson emphasized the importance of women realizing that every cigarette less, if not completely quit, reduces the risk of their child suddenly and unexpectedly dying of SUID.
One of the study's authors, Juan Lavista, Senior Director of Data Science at Microsoft's AI For Good Research Lab, explained how the research team used Microsoft Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) Technology to better understand SUID and potentially save lives.

“Using artificial intelligence, we developed machine learning models that analyzed millions of data on child births and deaths, including mothers' smoking history, so we could do something we couldn't do before: assess the impact of each additional cigarette on SUID, he said.

Source: medicalXpress, Pediatrics