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Mental Illness Linked to Prenatal Tobacco Exposure

Posted May 10 2010 2:28pm
An analysis of a large number of medical records of people born in Finland indicates a link between psychiatric illness and prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke. Mikael Ekblad, a doctoral student at Turku University in Finland, reported these findings at the meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies. Children born to mothers who smoked while pregnant had a 44% increased risk of psychiatric drug use later in life, presumably because of psychiatric disorders.

It has long been known that maternal smoking can affect the placenta, often leading to low birth weight or prematurity, and some previous studies had demonstrated the link between mental illness and tobacco smoke in the womb.

Davide Zauche
Managing Senior Fellow and Senior Program Officer
Partnership for Prevention
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