Pregnancy :: Combined effects of maternal smoking status and dietary intake related to weight gain and birth size

An observational prospective study was conducted by AS Olafsdottir,a GV Skuladottir,b I Thorsdottir,a A Hauksson,c L Steingrimsdottird to investigate the interaction of smoking status and dietary intake during pregnancy and its relationship to maternal weight gain and birth size parameters in four hundred and eight healthy pregnant Icelandic women.

Maternal smoking status, lifestyle factors and dietary habits were evaluated with questionnaires. Intake of foods and supplements was also estimated with a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire for the previous 3 months. All questionnaires were filled out between 11 and 15 weeks and between 34 and 37 weeks of gestation. Smoking status in relation to optimal and/or excessive weight gain during pregnancy was represented with logistic regression controlling for potential confounding factors.

Main outcome measures Maternal weight gain, smoking status, dietary intake and birthweight.

Women who smoked throughout pregnancy were unlikely to gain optimal weight or more (OR 0.51, 95% CI 0.27?0.97), whereas smoking cessation in connection with pregnancy (‘former smokers’) doubled the risk of excessive weight gain (OR 2.03, 95% CI 1.24?3.35). The latter association was no longer significant after adjustment for dietary factors and other confounding factors. Former smokers ate the least amount of fruit and vegetables (fruit: 129 versus 180 and 144 g/day (median), P = 0.038; vegetables: 53 versus 76 and 72 g/day, P = 0.026 for former smokers, nonsmokers and smokers, respectively). Birthweight was lowest among infants born to smokers, but birthweight was similar for former smokers and nonsmokers (3583 ? 491 g versus 3791 ? 461 g and 3826 ? 466 g, respectively; P = 0.003).

Smoking cessation in early pregnancy or pre-pregnancy is not associated with low birthweight. It is, however, associated with excessive maternal weight gain and a low fruit and vegetable intake.

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