Skip to comments.Smoking While Pregnant Causes Finger, Toe Deformities: Just Half a Pack per Day Harms Unborn Child
Posted on 01/09/2006 8:19:48 AM PST by billorites
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. Women have yet another reason to stop smoking while pregnant. In the largest study of its kind, plastic surgeons found smoking during pregnancy significantly elevates the risk of having a child with excess, webbed or missing fingers and toes, according to the January issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). In fact, the study found that smoking just half a pack per day increases the risk of having a child born with a toe or finger defect by 29 percent. Reconstructive surgery to repair limb, toe and finger abnormalities in children represents a large portion of my practice it is the most common issue I treat, said Benjamin Chang, MD, ASPS member and study author. Parents would ask why this happened to their child, but I didnt have an answer. This study shows that even minimal smoking during pregnancy can significantly increase the risk of having a child with various toe and finger defects.
Researchers examined the records of more than 6.8 million live births in the United States during 2001 and 2002, finding 5,171 children born with a digital anomaly where the mother smoked during pregnancy but did not suffer from other medical complications, such as heart disease, diabetes or high blood pressure.
The study authors discovered pregnant women who smoked one to 10 cigarettes per day increased the risk of having a child with a toe or finger deformity by 29 percent. The more a woman smoked, the higher the risk became. Women who smoked 11 to 20 cigarettes a day raised the risk 38 percent, and women who smoked 21 or more cigarettes per day raised the risk 78 percent.
Known as polydactyly, syndactyly and adactyly, these deformities are the most common congenital limb abnormalities. Polydactyly is the presence of more than five digits on the hands or feet. Syndactyly is having fused or webbed fingers or toes. Adactyly is the absence of fingers or toes.
Webbed fingers or toes occur one in every 2,000 to 2,500 live births and excess fingers or toes occur one in every 600 live births. Webbed fingers or toes occur twice as often in boys and are more common in Caucasians than African Americans. Excess digits, however, are 10 times more common in African Americans and are only slightly prevalent in boys. Nevertheless, the majority of these defects occur without any family history and most causes are unknown which has lead researchers to investigate environmental causes, such as smoking, for these anomalies.
The results of this study were interesting. We suspected that smoking was a cause of digital anomalies but didnt expect the results to be so dramatic, said Dr. Chang. Smoking is so addictive that pregnant women often cant stop the habit, no matter what the consequences. Our hope is this study will show expectant mothers another danger of lighting up.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons is the largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons in the world. With more than 6,000 members, the society is recognized as a leading authority and information source on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. ASPS comprises 94 percent of all board-certified plastic surgeons in the United States. Founded in 1931, the society represents physicians certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
This is the opening shot in seeking a law banning pregnant women from smoking. They will be charged with child abuse.
There is something to that, at least in my case. My mom was a smoker, even though she only smoked until the 2nd trimester (i think). Anyways I have prostrated(sp?) toes. The middle ones are permanently curled up, although fully functional.
Why was there not an epidemic of these deformities back in the 1940's to the 1960's when a much higher percentage of the population smoked? I remember a LOT of my friends and schoolmates Moms smoked back on the 60's. Out of several hundred not a single one had these deformities. This study has a strong stench of doctored raw data to me.
My husband has the same condition. His mother (a Pentecostal preacher) NEVER smoked.
Thank God that habit never appealed to me.
That newspaper photo is the perfect photo-definition of irony.
My mom smoked cigars, and I post on FR.
LOL love it.
I see a corrolation here, the American Left will have to declare it a defect. Mother who smoke while pregnant produce future freepers.
BS. This is merely MORE medical evidence which will be belittled and waved off by the addicted.
1) Smoking causes deformities/missing fingers.
2) Without thumbs, you can't flick a lighter.
Which is it:
One for the pufflist?
I pinged them already. Thanks Diver!
Boy, I'd like to give SOMEONE the middle finger... except I have an even number... If anyone wants one, though, I can spare a few...%)
In fact, Baby Boomers should REALLY be deformed since most of their parents smoked unfiltered cigarettes, right?
Most of the time they cut off the excess digits soon after birth if it is possible, so there may have been more cases then you knew about. My father was born with twelve fingers, and they cut off the extras at birth. He didn't talk about until my mother was pregnant with me. And yes, my paternal grandmother smoked, but then so did my other grandmother and she gave birth to four ten fingered children.
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