Smoking in Pregnancy Tied to Poor Reading Skills in Kids: Study
TUESDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Children whose mothers smoked one or more packs of cigarettes a day during pregnancy have poorer reading skills than other children, a new study finds.
Researchers analyzed data from more than 5,000 children in the United Kingdom, and compared their scores on a series of tests assessing how accurately a child reads aloud and comprehends what he or she reads. The children were tested at ages 7 and 9.
On average, children whose mothers smoked at least one pack of cigarettes a day during pregnancy scored 21 percent lower on the tests than children born to nonsmoking mothers, according to the study published this month in the Journal of Pediatrics.
In a class of 31 students with similar backgrounds and education, a child of a mother who smokes will rank an average of seven places lower in reading accuracy and comprehension ability than a child of a nonsmoking mother, the researchers concluded.
"It's not a little difference -- it's a big difference in accuracy and comprehension at a critical time when children are being assessed, and are getting a sense of what it means to be successful," study author Dr. Jeffrey Gruen, a professor of pediatrics and genetics at Yale School of Medicine, said in a Yale news release.
The effects of smoking during pregnancy are especially strong in children with an underlying speech disorder, which suggests an interaction between nicotine exposure in the womb and a highly heritable trait such as speech ability, Gruen added.
The study found an association between maternal smoking and children's reading skills, but it didn't prove cause-and-effect.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about the smoking during pregnancy.
SOURCE: Yale University, news release, Nov. 19, 2012Related Articles
- FDA Reconsiders Behavior-Modifying 'Shock Devices'
April 24, 2014
- Kids' Genetic Risk for Obesity Rises With Age, Study Finds
April 24, 2014
Learn More About Sharp
Sharp HealthCare is San Diego's health care leader with seven hospitals, two medical groups and a health plan. Learn more about our San Diego hospitals, choose a Sharp-affiliated San Diego doctor or browse our comprehensive medical services.
Copyright ©2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.