Smoking during pregnancy and risk of abnormal glucose tolerance: a prospective cohort study.

Document Type


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Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Maine Medical Center Research Institute

Journal Title

BMC pregnancy and childbirth [electronic resource]

MeSH Headings

Adolescent, Adult, Diabetes, Gestational, Female, Glucose Intolerance, Glucose Tolerance Test, Hispanic Americans, Humans, Logistic Models, Massachusetts, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Trimester, First, Pregnancy Trimester, Second, Prospective Studies, Puerto Rico, Risk Factors, Smoking, Young Adult


BACKGROUND: Disturbances in glucose metabolism during pregnancy are associated with negative sequalae for both mother and infant. The association between smoking and abnormal glucose tolerance (AGT) remains controversial. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the relationship between smoking prior to and during pregnancy and risk of AGT.

METHODS: We utilized data from a prospective cohort of 1,006 Hispanic (predominantly Puerto Rican) prenatal care patients in Western Massachusetts. Women reported pre- and early pregnancy smoking at recruitment (mean = 15 weeks) and mid pregnancy smoking at a second interview (mean = 28 weeks). AGT was defined as > 135 mg/dL on the routine 1-hour glucose tolerance test (1-hr OGTT). We used multivariable regression to assess the effect of pre, early, and mid-pregnancy smoking on risk of AGT and screening plasma glucose value from the 1-hr OGTT.

RESULTS: In age-adjusted models, women who smoked > 0-9 cigarettes/day in pre-pregnancy had an increased risk of AGT (OR = 1.90; 95% CI 1.02-3.55) compared to non-smokers; this was attenuated in multivariable models. Smoking in early (OR = 0.48; 95% CI 0.21-1.10) and mid pregnancy (OR = 0.38; 95% CI 0.13-1.11) were not associated with AGT in multivariable models. Smoking during early and mid pregnancy were independently associated with lower glucose screening values, while smoking in pre-pregnancy was not.

CONCLUSIONS: In this prospective cohort of Hispanic women, we did not observe an association between smoking prior to or during pregnancy and risk of AGT. Findings from this study, although based on small numbers of cases, extend prior research to the Hispanic population.



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