From: THE ENDOCRINE SOCIETY via EurekAlert.
Published March 8, 2015 08:55 AM

Tobacco smoke impacts the unborn too

A fetus exposed to tobacco smoke may be at increased risk for diabetes in adulthood, a new study of adult daughters finds. The results will be presented in a poster Saturday, March 7, at ENDO 2015, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in San Diego. 

Women whose parents smoked during pregnancy had increased risk of diabetes mellitus independent of known risk factors, adding to the evidence that prenatal environmental chemical exposures can contribute to adult diabetes mellitus. 

"From a public health perspective, reduced fetal environmental tobacco smoke exposure appears to be an important modifiable risk factor for diabetes mellitus in offspring," said lead study author Michele La Merrill, MPH, PhD, assistant professor of in the Department of Environmental Toxicology at the University of California, Davis. 

"Medical doctors should consider advising pregnant smokers that emerging research suggests that tobacco smoking cessation in the home may benefit offspring by reducing their risk of developing diabetes mellitus independent of the effects of adult body mass index or birth weight on diabetes risk," she added. 

Dr. La Merrill and her colleagues studied 1,801 diabetic daughters between the ages of 44 and 54 years who were born between 1959 and 1967 in the Child Health and Development Studies pregnancy cohort in California, a study designed to examine the associations between prenatal exposures and health outcomes in the parents and offspring. The mothers had reported parental tobacco smoking during an early pregnancy interview, and the daughters developed diabetes mellitus.

Woman breaking cigarette image via Shutterstock.

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