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Smoking affects later pregnancies

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Women who smoke during their first pregnancy but not their second continue to have twice the risk of a preterm birth of women who smoked during neither pregnancy, according to Australian researchers.

‘This is an important finding and suggests that there appears to be a carry-over effect of smoking from one pregnancy to another although the reasons for this are not clear,’ said the authors online in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

They studied 244,840 mothers who had two deliveries between 1994 and 2004. Women who smoked during both pregnancies had a fourfold higher risk of a second preterm birth than non-smokers.

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