Smoking While Pregnant May Compromise Children’s Kidney Function

December 23, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC -- December 23, 2016 -- Young children show signs of kidney damage if their mothers smoked while pregnant, according to a study published early online ahead of an upcoming print issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN).

Because smoking is a well-known risk factor for kidney failure in adults, Koji Kawakami, MD, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan, and colleagues examined whether maternal smoking during pregnancy might affect children’s kidney health.

The researchers conducted a population-based retrospective study using a database of health check-ups from pregnancy to 3 years of age in Japan. The investigators looked for the presence of proteinuria in urinary tests from 44,595 children.

In the population examined, 4.4% of women smoked only before pregnancy and 16.7% continued smoking while pregnant. The frequencies of proteinuria in the child at age 3 were 1.7% when mothers continued to smoke during pregnancy, 1.6% when mothers stopped smoking during pregnancy, and 1.3% when mothers were nonsmokers, respectively.

Maternal smoking during pregnancy was associated with a 1.24-times increased risk of child proteinuria compared with no exposure to maternal smoking during pregnancy.

“Maternal smoking during pregnancy is known to be associated with preterm birth, low birth weight, and neonatal asphyxia,” said Dr. Kawakami. “The findings from this study suggest additional adverse effects of maternal smoking during pregnancy. Prevention of child proteinuria is important since child proteinuria can lead to development of chronic kidney disease in adulthood and ultimately end stage renal disease.”

SOURCE: American Society of Nephrology

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