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Smoking, NRT linked to increased risk of infantile colic

Filed March 9th, 2012 Joshua Sophy

A new study has linked exposure to nicotine – through the use of nicotine patches, smoking, or both – in utero with an increased risk of infantile colic.

According to a report at on the study appearing in the most recent edition of the journal Pediatrics, exposure to nicotine either through smoking or the use of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) caused this increased risk. This was an “observational study” and examined records of more than 46,000 pregancies.

Most of those pregnancies featured babies exposed to no nicotine whatsoever through the course of the pregnancy. Nearly one-quarter of the pregnancies featured mothers who smoked and another three-tenths percent exposed to just NRTs like a nicotine patch. Two percent of the pregnancies included in this study had babies exposed to both NRT and smoking. 

The “adjusted odds ratio” for developing the criteria necessary to qualify as infantile colic increased for babies exposed to nicotine through either vehicle, smoking or use of NRT or both. The odds ratios were increased to 1.6 for the offspring of NRT users and the same for women who smoked and used an NRT. The increased odds risk is at 1.3 for women who smoked through their pregnancy.

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