Influence of parental smoking on children’s growth and weight at birth and age 6

The aim of the study was to investigate the impact of parental smoking and the average number of cigarettes smoked during one day (through 24 h) on birth weight and length and also on the weight and height of 6 - year olds. The study was conducted by a retrospective study of data from the health cards of 1003 children, 6 years old, obtained at the physical examination for enrolment in primary school from school year 1998/99 to 2001/02 in the Maksimir area of the City of Zagreb. Low birth weight, birth length, weight and height of 6 - year olds are defined as values less than the 25 centile according to the distribution of the individuals in the group. Birth weight was significantly reduced, by 168 g, in children of mothers who smoked and was 169 g lower in children with both parents smoking, compared with children of non-smoker parents, with a lower birth length of 0.51 cm and 0.71 cm, respectively. The height of 6-year olds was reduced by 0.82 cm in children of smoking fathers and 0.93 cm in children of both parents smoking compared with children of non-smoker parents. Smoking parents in the group with 10 to 19 and ≥ 20 cigarettes smoked per day, resulted in lower average birth weight by 135 g and 117 g, lower birth lengths by 0.32 cm and 0.54 cm, lower heights in 6 - year olds by 1.31 cm and 0.44 cm and 0.51 kg less weight, however the weight was higher by 0.19 kg, if the 6-year-olds in the group of parents who smoked ≥ 20 cigarettes per day were compared to children of non-smoker parents. Smoking habits and the dependence of parents on ten or more cigarettes per day resulted in lower birth weight, birth length and height in 6-year olds, but not in the lower weight of 6-year olds if they belonged to the group of parents who smoked 20 or more cigarettes per day. The impact of smoking mothers was more significant on birth weight and birth length and of smoking fathers on the body height of 6-year-olds.

Category: Original scientific paper
Volume: Vol. 54, No 3, july - september 2010
Authors: T. Čavlek, M. Čavlek, J. Božikov, B. Sturz, K. Gršić
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