Kids whose mother used cigarettes without smoking during pregnancy have increased blood pressure at the age of 5-6 compared with peers whose mothers used tobacco, a small Swedish study found.
For 21 children exposed to snus in the wombs, a hot, smokeless powdered tobacco and 19 without pre-natal tobacco use, the scientists examined blood pressure.
Children exposed to snus had systemic blood pressure-the “top-number”-4.2 mmHG (millimeters of mercury). It increased blood pressure against the artery walls as heart beats. This was more common than children with no prenatal tobacco exposure.
We don’t understand that later in the existence of elevated systolic blood pressure still needs to be studied,’ said Dr Felicia Nordenstam, study lead author and Stockholm Karolinska Institute researcher.
Nevertheless, Nordenstam says by email that there is no safe amount of tobacco exposures during the pregnancy.
“Women should abstain during pregnancy from all kinds of tobacco and nicotine products,” said Nordenstam. “If it is not a possibility to avoid smoking and nicotine, it is advised to reduce the doses as much as possible.” The research also examined the heart rate of each child regulated by a nitrogen-affected portion of the nervous system. The research team has found that the children of snus users had a lower HRV by measuring heart-rate variability (HRV) and by assessing the heart’s sensitivity to increasing demands.
Investigators found no correlation between prenatal snus exposure and “diastolic” blood pressure–the lowest number–which indicates how much blood pressure the artery walls bring on when the heart is relaxing between the beats.
Pregnancy smoking has long been linked to a number of premature birth, low birth weight and stillbirth complications, among others. In the case of mothers smoking during pregnancy, previous studes have also shown an increased risk of high blood pressure for children.
Pregnant women who had snus only administered high dose of the tobacco product and supplied 48 milligrams or more of nicotine per day during their entire pregnancy are included in the current study. Children of mothers who used no tobacco products at all in their pregnancy contrasted their children’s outcomes.
None of the research children had parents who smoked cigarettes during their childhood or delivery.
In some recent pregnancy cigarette smoking trials, researchers report in the Journal of the American High Heart Association that differe systolic blood pressure between children with and without snus exposure is greater than 1 to 3 mmHG variations.
Outside its small size, the study also has a lack of long-term data to determine if and how snus exposure during pregnancy could result in lasting cardiovascular problems for children.
“The full extent and precision of the pre-natal exposure to nicotine and altered cardiac control and regulation of blood pressure are not fully understood,” said Nordenstam.
But blood pressure tends to follow a path that begins in infancy and makes children with even a slightly high level of hypertension more likely to develop as adults, researchers note.
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